It's the peak of flu season and doctors across the Wiregrass are seeing the symptoms in patients. It's affected almost every state in the country, but the Centers for Disease Control reports that Alabama is among the top four states hit.
"Over the last three weeks our state has gone up and down but I would say anywhere from two thirds to three quarters of our counties have been affected by the flu. We know it's out there and it's coming into the doctor's offices," said Corey Kirkland, Assistant Administrator for the Houston County Health Department.
The most common strain this year is H1N1, better known as ‘Swine Flu’ that caused the pandemic across the nation in 2009.
"We are seeing more of those positives in the lab so it does seem to be more of a predominant strand that we're seeing but the flu shot does cover it as well as two other strains of the flu as well," said Kirkland.
He says if you haven't had the shot, now is the time and the sooner the better; it can take up to two weeks for the vaccine to kick in.
The CDC estimates that just last year the vaccine prevented 6.5 million people from getting the flu-- that's equivalent to the population of the entire state of Arizona.
Children and pregnant women are at greatest risk for the H1N1 strain. If you haven't gotten the vaccine and would like to, contact your physician or the Houston County Health Department at 678-2800.