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New flu death rate numbers have Alabama health care providers pushing vaccinations

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The Alabama Department of Public Health says two dozen people in the state have died of the flu so far this season. In Alabama, the flu generally peeks in January and February. Healthcare providers say if you haven’t done so already, now is the time for everyone six months and older to get vaccinated. Mobile County Health Officer Dr. Kevin Michaels says the vaccine is critical for those patients at highest risk.

“If you have other healthcare complications such as diabetes or high blood sugar, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, obesity, you may have complications resulting in hospitalization,” said Michaels.

Michaels says if you’re unvaccinated and you’ve had flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, and a sore throat, don’t assume you’re immune to flu. Get vaccinated as soon as you’re feeling better. He says now is a good time for a shot if you’ve been putting it off…

“It’s not too late,” Michaels observed. “Typically, our flu numbers will peek out in the January-February timeframe. But getting vaccinated now, it’s still a great time to get vaccinated.”

Alabama health care providers have been especially concerned about a triple threat this year, posed by the COVID-19, influenza, and a third respiratory illness that goes by the initials R-S-V.

APR Graduate student intern Cori Yonge returns to journalism after spending time in the corporate world. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Journalism and Media Studies from The University of Alabama and is ecstatic to be back working with public radio. Cori has an interest in health, environment, and science reporting and is the winner of both an Associated Press award and Sigma Delta Chi award for healthcare related stories. The mother of two daughters, Cori spent twelve years as a Girl Scout leader. Though her daughters are grown, she still enjoys camping with friends and family – especially if that time allows her to do some gourmet outdoor cooking. Cori and her husband Lynn live in Fairhope.
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