There is some good health news in Alabama.
While coronavirus cases in the state are ticking up, flu activity is tracking behind last year, according to surveillance data from the Alabama Department of Public Health.
For the week ending Oct. 24, ADPH showed 2 of the state’s eight health districts – the northeastern part of the state and Jefferson County – had lab confirmed flu cases. The remainder of the districts showed no significant influenza. No districts reported significant activity.
For the same week last year, every district except Mobile showed lab confirmed cases. By the next week in 2019, the east central and southeastern districts were already showing significant influenza activity.
Flu rates are also low nationally. Forty nine states, including Alabama, were reporting “minimal” influenza activity. The only state reporting low flu activity was Iowa.
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control said 1.2% of patients nationally reported visiting their physician had flu-like illnesses, well below the national baseline of 2.6%.
The exact timing and duration of flu varies each year but activity traditionally increases in October, peaking between December and February and lasting as long as May. The CDC recommends flu vaccines for everyone ages 6 months of age and older.