Rise in flu cases could mean early flu season - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Rise in flu cases could mean early flu season

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BIRMINGHAM, AL -

Just a few weeks into the school year, Lisa Westry of Oneonta, received a call from her daughter's school that she had a low-grade fever. When Westry took her daughter to the doctor, she would never had guessed the diagnosis.

"We were really surprised to get a positive diagnosis on flu and strep."

Flu season typically starts during the fall and runs through the spring. But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there's been a recent rise in flu cases. In the last week of August, reported flu diagnosis rose from 8% to 15.6% in the Southeast.

Dr. Gigi Youngblood with Pediatrics East in Trussville, said flu season is not here yet, but it's important to go ahead and take steps to prevent the illness.

"We encourage folks to get vaccinated as early as possible," said Youngblood.

Flu vaccinations are given through a nasal mist or injection. Contact your health care provider to figure out which one is best for you. Youngblood said vaccination is the best line of defense against the flu.

"The flu is something that's a very common illness, but it can be a very serious illness, and your best protection is the flu vaccine."

Flu vaccines will typically be effect for an entire year. To find out where flu shots are offered in your area, click here.

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