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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: 498560

Reported Deaths: 9939
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34150535
DeSoto31916399
Hinds31878624
Jackson24352379
Rankin21928388
Lee15450235
Madison14547279
Jones13789241
Forrest13428250
Lauderdale11944315
Lowndes10966185
Lamar10491135
Pearl River9454237
Lafayette8462138
Hancock7703126
Washington7371157
Oktibbeha7118130
Monroe6740174
Warren6656176
Pontotoc6620102
Neshoba6613206
Panola6466131
Marshall6398132
Bolivar6268146
Union596794
Pike5794152
Alcorn5646101
Lincoln5421134
George494979
Scott471198
Tippah466081
Prentiss464881
Leflore4631144
Itawamba4605105
Adams4577119
Tate4553109
Copiah445692
Simpson4423116
Yazoo440386
Wayne438572
Covington427894
Marion4222107
Sunflower4217104
Coahoma4127104
Leake407687
Newton381079
Grenada3700108
Stone358764
Tishomingo358091
Attala330589
Jasper328565
Winston313491
Clay306775
Chickasaw297867
Clarke290694
Calhoun278145
Holmes267287
Smith262450
Yalobusha232847
Tallahatchie225851
Walthall217763
Greene216048
Lawrence211440
Perry204855
Amite204055
Webster201845
Noxubee185940
Montgomery179356
Jefferson Davis170942
Carroll168238
Tunica159039
Benton147538
Kemper141341
Choctaw133026
Claiborne131637
Humphreys129038
Franklin119128
Quitman106328
Wilkinson104539
Jefferson94234
Sharkey64020
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 814363

Reported Deaths: 15179
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1141131910
Mobile722941323
Madison52048686
Shelby37315341
Baldwin37098540
Tuscaloosa34973599
Montgomery33996725
Lee23158240
Calhoun22168470
Morgan20675372
Etowah19770496
Marshall18258300
Houston17314405
St. Clair15924337
Cullman15333290
Limestone15239198
Elmore15095284
Lauderdale14163294
Talladega13728272
DeKalb12575259
Walker11096366
Blount10104174
Autauga9904146
Jackson9795180
Coffee9182189
Dale8866181
Colbert8794200
Tallapoosa7045195
Escambia6747127
Covington6688179
Chilton6595160
Russell626358
Franklin5936105
Chambers5562142
Marion4960126
Dallas4897199
Clarke473482
Pike4721105
Geneva4564126
Winston4478101
Lawrence4269117
Bibb421786
Barbour356075
Marengo334189
Monroe330662
Randolph327763
Butler324894
Pickens314082
Henry311265
Hale309487
Cherokee300557
Fayette291079
Washington251151
Cleburne247058
Crenshaw243775
Clay240867
Macon230762
Lamar218146
Conecuh185752
Coosa179038
Lowndes174161
Wilcox167838
Bullock151744
Perry138040
Sumter131138
Greene125844
Choctaw87027
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