Alabama is one of seven states reporting high level of flu.
According to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Louisiana is reporting very high activity of ILI, or Influenza-like illnesses, while Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, New Mexico and South Carolina, are reporting high levels.
Flu-like illnesses accounted for 2.86% of emergency department visits in Alabama last week, an increase of less than 1% a month ago. Emergency department visits for Respiratory Syncytial Virus, or RSV, are also rising, up to 1.27% while COVID-related visits have declined to just under 1%, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.
Winter flu season typically peaks in December or January but appears to be increasing in November this year, the AP reported. So far, the CDC reports at least 780,000 flu illnesses nationally with at least 8,000 hospitalizations and 490 flu-related deaths, including at least one child.
READ MORE: Flu shot recommendations: One big change for 2023
Is it too late to get a flu vaccine?
The CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older get an annual flu vaccine. For people younger than 65, no specific vaccine is recommended. One of three higher-dose vaccines is recommended for people ages 65 and older, according to the CDC.
September and October are considered the best times to be vaccinated against the flu and, ideally, everyone should have received their vaccination by the end of October. It’s never too late to be vaccinated, however, as cases can circulate as late as May, health officials said. It’s also important to get your vaccine as soon as possible as it takes about two weeks after your jab for antibodies to develop in the body.