"Influenza type A" flu strain spreading across Alabama - WVTM-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Birmingham, AL

"Influenza type A" flu strain spreading across Alabama

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BIRMINGHAM, AL - The flu season is just getting started in much of the country, but activity is already high in the state of Alabama, according to state health officials.

Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas are also on the list of affected states.

"Reports from Alabama's network of providers who report influenza-like illness and send influenza samples for

testing to the Department of Public Health indicate the geographic spread of influenza in Alabama is widespread for the third week in a row," according to a news release. "Influenza type A, H1N1 (also known as 2009 H1N1, the pandemic strain, or pH1N1) has been the predominant strain of virus circulating so far this season. One characteristic of pH1N1 is that, similar to the 2009 pandemic, young and middle-aged adults seem to have a greater chance of severe influenza."

Symptoms of the flu include: fever, cough, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, headache, muscle aches and extreme fatigue.

"Influenza can be a serious disease for anyone, even children, pregnant women and previously healthy

young adults," according to state health officials. "An annual influenza vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 months and older. The flu vaccine this year includes protection against H1N1. Flu vaccines are available as shots and nasal spray."
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