Birmingham area hospitals over capacity due to 'major flu situation'

Administering a flu vaccination to a patient is Terri Buratczuk clinical director of the Tri City Health Partnership a free health clinic in St. Charles that provides services for those who are uninsured or underinsured

White County Public Health nurse Marsha Oilar said a 91-year-old man from Reynolds, Indiana has died because of the virus.

It says one adult between the ages of 50 to 64 died at some point between October first through December 30th.

Officials with the Jefferson County Health Department and UAB advised folks Wednesday evening during a press conference that we're in the middle of a major seasonal flu situation and many hospitals are seeing an uptick in patients suffering flu or flu-like symptoms.

However, it is noted that these cases may have been caused by other acute medical conditions or underlying diseases that could've affected the flu. The other type of vaccine - called "trivalent" because it covers three strains of flu - "unfortunately" doesn't cover that B strain.

Influenza is so rampant in North Texas that Dallas Methodist Hospital is actually having to turn away patients with non-severe cases of the illness.

Getting a flu shot is the best preventative measure and it's never too late, Scherzer added. "Last year, Mohave County experienced a similar spike in activity as this same time, and it did end up being our peak activity".

According to US officials, the flu vaccine is still the best way to safeguard your immune system against influenza.

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"It's too early to know if the spike we are now experiencing will translate into a peak for the season", she said.

Echoing the hand-washing theme is Tom Schlueter, public information officer for the Kane County Health Department.

Rodriguez said that even if the vaccine is weak this year, vaccinating is still the most important thing county residents can do to avoid getting sick and mitigate the illness if they do get sick. "It's always the best defense against the flu and to protect yourself, your family and those around you".

The White County Health Department has confirmed one death in the county because of the flu.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports widespread flu activity in 46 states, and officials predict the season could be as severe as 2014-15. However, some have chronic health problems and the flu can lead to complications ranging from moderate to life-threatening.

If you have a fever, cough, body aches, or a sore throat, please postpone your visit until you have been symptom-free for 24 hours.

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