A new CDC report reveals the flu outbreak continues to spread across the U.S. with 46 states, including Alabama, seeing widespread influenza activity.
As Alabamians continue to recover from the flu doctors are hoping to slow the spread by encouraging folks to stay home from work as long as possible.
Alabama Department of Public Health Flu Outbreak
The outbreak is causing overcrowding in local hospitals and urgent care centers.
With most school districts starting back up after the holidays local doctors are concerned that the flu outbreak may continue to spread.
Doctors suggest waiting 24 hours after your fever breaks, without any fever reducing medication, to send your child back to school or adults return to work.
According to the CDC, thousands of children younger than 5 years are hospitalized from flu complications every year and influenza causes more hospitalizations among young children than any other vaccine-preventable disease. Once a child has it, they could be out of school for at least a week or more for those with weaker immune systems.
Adults may need to use 4-5 sick days away from the office while recovering.
Dr. Ali Hassoun, an Infectious Disease Specialist at Huntsville Hospital, said people rushing back to work may contribute to the spread.
“We get exposed to a lot of different viruses and bacteria, whether you were sick or getting exposed it is always a good idea to use the water and soap and wash your hands regularly or use the alcohol gel that will help eradicate infection or prevention. It’s really common sense,” Hassoun said.
He also recommends washing your hands and disinfecting all surfaces frequently at home, schools and work to limit the spread.
“It’s really common sense trying to avoid the exposure to infection or if you are infected you hydrate yourself, get better and then don’t transfer it to anybody else,” Hassoun said.