Flu season making way through Pike County

Published 3:00 am Thursday, January 10, 2019

The flu is rampant across Alabama, including Pike County.

Two weeks ago, the illness was widespread across the state except for the Wiregrass. The whole state is now in the thick of flu season though and Pike County is no exception.

Corey Kirkland, area administrator for the southeast district of the Alabama Department of Public Health, said patients should contact a doctor or visit a clinic to get antivirals as soon as possible at the first sign of flu symptoms.

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“If you are sick, some anti-virals can help but you need to take them early; you don’t want to wait a day or two,” Kirkland said. “If you have body aches, you’re really tired and fatigued, if fever sets on soon – if you have all three of those things you definitely need to see a physician.”

The best way to fight the flu though, Kirkland said, is to take preventative measures.

“Ideally we’d like to see everyone getting flu shots in October and November,” Kirkland said. “It’s better so that the immunity has time to build up; it takes a few weeks to get the full effect but we typically see significant flu activity all the way through March. It’s never too late to get your flu shot.”

Kirkland said health departments offer the flu shot but have limited resources, so people looking for a shot should call ahead to check with their respective health departments first. Local pharmacies and doctors may also be providing flu shots, Kirkland said.

Flu shots are not the only way to prevent the flu.

“Hand-washing is extremely important in controlling the flu,” Kirkland said. “If you do get sick, stay out of work or school. I know that’s hard, but it really helps to control the spread of the virus.”

Other than taking antivirals, Kirkland said the important thing for flu patients is to rest and drink plenty of fluids. “It’s one of those things you just have to suffer through,” Kirkland said.