The flu continues to be very active across the entire state of Alabama with activity increasing slightly. According to the most recent report from the Alabama Department of Public Health, 55 people have died this flu season. One of them was a child.
The state health department told WAAY 31 adults are being hit hard this season because the elderly are in that group. If there are underlying health conditions for the elderly the flu can become deadly.
Lydia Goodman is one of 285 people who live at the Regency Retirement Village. The flu has not impacted the building this year, but last year, "we ended up quarantined for quite a while even in our rooms and them bringing us meals," said Goodman.
Following the bad flu season last year the assisted living home is taking extra precautions this year to keep it away, "Whipin' down all tables with cleaner, whipin' doornobs, chairs after each shift. just really gettin' everything clean," said Registered Nurse Haley Autrey.
On top of keeping all of the surfaces germ free in the building they're also making sure anyone who comes and goes uses hand sanitizer to make sure the flu is not spreading to people who live here, "We advise all visitors, if they're havin' a runny nose, a fever in the past week, a cough or anything, please do not come visit," said Autrey.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 216 people died in Alabama during the 2018 flu season. This year is only the 2nd year the state has recorded the number of flu related deaths, "I think that sometimes persons do not realize that influenza can be deadly," said Dr. Karen Landers with the Alabama Department of Public Health.
By recording the number of deaths their goal is to encourage people to get flu shots, which something Goodman is a big fan of, "If they get theirs they're helping other people from getting sick," said Goodman.
Even though it is late in the flu season the Alabama Department of Public Health said it is not too late to get a flu shot. It can potentially help save the life of someone who might not make it through it they get sick.