Confirmed flu cases in Tuscaloosa decrease compared to 2017

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Confirmed flu cases in Tuscaloosa decrease compared to 2017

Shahriyar Emami, Staff Reporter

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While winter break has come to an end with the semester in full effect, people on campus must still be careful of catching influenza, as it is still flu season.

During Christmas week, Druid City Hospital, Regional Medical Center and Northport Medical Center performed 328 combined flu tests, said Bradley Fisher, corporate director of DCH communications.

From that number, 29, or 8.8 percent, cases of type A or B flu were confirmed.

The number of confirmed flu cases during the week of Christmas is fewer than the amount of cases from 2017.

Fisher said 895 tests were performed during Christmas week of that year, and 219, or 24.5 percent, of the cases were positive for type A or B flu.

“Type A is the most prevalent,” said Fisher.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, type A and B are seasonal.

“The main thing you need to know is we’re still in flu season,” Fisher said. “Here at the hospital, every employee is required to get a flu shot or you’ve got to wear a mask. You’ve got to wear the mask through March.”

Angela Hammond, Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner (CRNP) at the University Medical Center, said there have been fewer flu cases this year than last year.

“The highest number of flu cases are generally seen in January and through February,” Hammond said. “So far, we’re seeing less cases than we have last year.”

While UMC does not treat a majority of Tuscaloosa’s flu cases, Hammond suggests there are symptoms that might require visiting the emergency room.

“If you have any kind of respiratory difficulties, if you’re having problems keeping fluids down, any of those things, it probably necessitates a visit to the emergency room,” Hammond said.

To fight the flu, the CDC recommends getting vaccinated, washing hands and taking anti-viral prescriptions if a doctor prescribes them.