Flu is back with a vengeance this year

By WVUA 23 News Student Reporter Emily Benito

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The flu and respiratory viruses are on the rise. More cases are being reported this year following two years much of the country spent social distancing and masking up.

Children’s of Alabama Assistant Professor of Pediatric Infectious Disease Dr. Claudette Poole said the best way to protect children against the flu is vaccination.

“I don’t want the public to think our hospital is full just with flu,” Poole said. “There are lots of other things that are going on, but yes, the hospital has been very full, very busy. We certainly have seen lots of cases of severe flu or severe RSV in our ICU. It’s definitely spreading in the community at the moment.”

Because this is the first year masks aren’t being widely worn, health officials fear the flu could be widespread.

“The whole world went into a very abnormal way of operating for the last two years which suppressed the circulations of those viruses,” Poole said. “As things have gone back to normal, we have seen, you know, a return or resurgence of these viruses. We are anticipating a particularly bad winter season because nobody has built immunity to these viruses because, you know, of not seeing them these last two seasons.”

Poole said it’s important to stay home when sick and try to look out for warning signs if your child is sick, like trouble breathing or a baby having difficulty feeding.

To keep up to date with the flu, check the Weekly US Map for Influenza.

Categories: Alabama News, Featured, Local News