Flu cases on the rise statewidePublished 7:02pm Friday, December 27, 2013
Cases of influenza in Tallapoosa County are continuing to rise.
Traci Kelly, Russell Medical Center infection prevention coordinator, said flu cases have continued to increase since last reported on Dec. 17.
“Last time, cases were at 98, but now we’re at 155. Since Dec. 1, we’ve seen 155 cases through,” Kelly said. “In the previous year, I ran the whole report for 2012, and there were about 200 cases for the entire year. So that’s a tremendous increase. Talking with the state health department out of Montgomery, they said there has been a statewide increase as well.”
Right now, Kelly said, there is nothing in particular contributing to the increase of flu cases.
“We’re not sure if anything is contributing to that increase at the moment,” Kelly said. “I really think it is an outbreak that is just spreading from person to person.”
Kelly said the community is encouraged to get a flu shot, and to avoid going to the hospital in order to stop the virus from taking hold there, among other preventative measures.
Depending on who manufactured the flu shot, the vaccine covers either three or four strains of the flu.
Trivalent vaccines, Kelley said, protect against two strains of flu type A and one strain of type B.
Quadrivalent vaccines protect against two strains of both type A and type B.
“The main thing is that if you haven’t gotten a flu shot, you still can get it. We want to encourage people getting their flu shots,” Kelly said. “If you’re sick, we encourage that you stay home and not visit the hospital. You want to be sure that if you’re coughing, use respiratory etiquette and use hand sanitizer.”