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Flu outbreak fills Alabama's hospitals, emergency rooms

A severe flu outbreak is filling Alabama hospitals and emergency rooms, prompting the governor to declare a state of emergency.

Posted: Jan 12, 2018 10:07 PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A severe flu outbreak is filling Alabama hospitals and emergency rooms, prompting the governor to declare a state of emergency.

"We have a crisis situation going on with numbers of patients infected by influenza in Alabama," Acting State Health Officer Scott Harris said in a Friday press conference. "We are seeing very large numbers, and that's particularly been true for the last two to three weeks."

Harris said hospitals in nearly half of Alabama counties are at 90 percent of their patient capacity. Some are full or overcapacity.

"They have more patients who are admitted to those hospitals than they have beds in those hospitals. They have patients who are waiting for rooms," Harris said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday that flu is now widespread in every state except Hawaii. Alabama is one of 26 states reporting high levels of influenza-like Illness.

Gov. Kay Ivey on Thursday issued a state of emergency, giving hospitals some leeway in following their care plans as they deal with the large influx of patients. For example, Harris said a hospital might opt for oral hydration instead of intravenous fluids.

To ease the burden on crowded emergency rooms, health officials urged people without severe symptoms to try other avenues to get care, such as primary care doctors, urgent care facilities or even calling their doctor's office to see if they can be triaged by phone.

Jeff Rains, CEO of Baptist Medical Center East in Montgomery said some hospitals across the state are altering visiting policies to try to slow the spread of the illness, and protect medically vulnerable patients.

A large private school in metro Birmingham, Briarwood Christian, canceled classes on Friday because of a large number of sick students and employees.

"Just remember, the best way to prevent influenza is to get a vaccine. Be sure to wash your hands, particularly if you are sick yourself," Harris said.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 147382

Reported Deaths: 3763
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto973199
Hinds9668197
Harrison6898109
Jackson6178119
Rankin5319100
Lee487695
Madison4666106
Forrest371386
Jones346788
Lauderdale3355144
Lafayette317549
Washington3122107
Lamar283449
Oktibbeha240861
Bolivar240184
Lowndes229763
Neshoba2177115
Panola215849
Marshall209650
Leflore201490
Pontotoc196128
Monroe191477
Sunflower190555
Lincoln186865
Warren172657
Tate165451
Union163925
Pike160658
Copiah159540
Yazoo152039
Scott150729
Coahoma148743
Itawamba148234
Pearl River146567
Alcorn146327
Simpson145153
Prentiss141230
Adams137949
Grenada137745
Leake131943
Holmes126561
Tippah123030
George122324
Covington119737
Winston119124
Wayne116223
Hancock115939
Marion111646
Attala109833
Tishomingo106542
Chickasaw104132
Newton103629
Tallahatchie96327
Clarke88853
Clay87127
Jasper81222
Walthall75328
Stone73114
Calhoun72913
Montgomery72125
Carroll70614
Lawrence70314
Yalobusha70027
Noxubee69717
Smith69616
Perry65426
Tunica59619
Greene58422
Claiborne57616
Jefferson Davis55017
Humphreys52918
Amite51814
Benton48717
Quitman4816
Webster42114
Kemper41918
Wilkinson38722
Jefferson34211
Franklin3265
Choctaw3117
Sharkey30717
Issaquena1124
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 239318

Reported Deaths: 3532
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson31391491
Mobile19562361
Tuscaloosa12813154
Madison12741146
Montgomery12198235
Shelby1000577
Baldwin847398
Lee764466
Morgan634348
Calhoun6112115
Marshall607954
Etowah606565
Houston517038
DeKalb474736
Cullman428038
Limestone413744
St. Clair409055
Elmore400762
Lauderdale393653
Walker3588108
Talladega343453
Jackson307624
Colbert301941
Blount285539
Autauga268641
Franklin247833
Coffee239715
Dale230354
Dallas224531
Russell22053
Chilton219638
Covington216833
Escambia197431
Chambers173749
Tallapoosa173391
Pike157514
Clarke156319
Marion136535
Winston129923
Lawrence124836
Geneva12028
Pickens119418
Marengo119124
Barbour117010
Bibb116217
Butler114441
Randolph100921
Cherokee100824
Hale94531
Clay90223
Washington90219
Fayette87316
Henry8496
Lowndes79129
Monroe78111
Cleburne75714
Macon72321
Crenshaw70730
Bullock69119
Conecuh68314
Perry6756
Lamar6508
Wilcox63118
Sumter57122
Choctaw41913
Greene41418
Coosa3374
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