The Alabama Department of Public Health has released new numbers showing that it is investigating 53 cases of people who have suffered a potential influenza-associated death since Jan. 11.
The number has risen from 44 to 53 since Jan. 24, but the number in the northern district, which includes 12 counties stretching from Jackson County to Marion County has dropped from 14 to 12 during this timeframe. The northern district still has the highest number of cases under investigation.
Public health officials say the statewide geographic spread of influenza is at a widespread level, which is the highest the state issues. Six of the state's seven districts are reporting high levels of influenza. The state has reported a widespread level of influenza since Dec. 11.
Experts say ways you can prevent getting the flu include getting vaccinated, covering your coughs and sneezes and staying home if you have a fever. Other tips include washing your hands and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surgaces like door knobs and phones.
The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention say influenza activity has increased in the United States as of mid-January.