Flu season 2009 better than 2008

Published 7:04 pm Monday, March 16, 2009

By By MaryClaire Foster
Although Alabama is listed as one of 31 states with widespread flu by the Center for Disease Control, Atmore physician Dr. Jonah McIntyre said he has seen a marked dropped in cases compared to last year.
McIntyre said his practice, Atmore Industrial Medicine, keeps track of flu cases in office and saw its first case roughly a month ago and has seen seven since.
McIntyre attributed the decrease from last year to the effectiveness of this year’s flu vaccine as well as more people receiving the vaccine.
McIntyre said they have seen both A and B strains of the flu this year.
Public Health Area 9 Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Teresa Porter said the health department does not keep up with flu prevalence because it is not a reportable condition, but does know there have been positive cultures throughout the state.
Porter, who is also the Surveillance Nurse Supervisor for Public Health Area 9, said regardless of prevalence, it is still recommended to get a flu shot up until the end of the season, which lasts until May and to make sure and get them annually. She added the vaccine takes two weeks to go into effect.
Regardless of prevalence, it is still important to practice caution and be safe about not contracting the flu.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends annual influenza vaccination for the following persons:

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