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.

Confirmed Cases: 13260

Reported Deaths: 625
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds89324
Lauderdale67855
Madison65421
Scott58910
Neshoba51231
Forrest48034
Jones46713
DeSoto4616
Leake38410
Holmes36523
Rankin3496
Jackson29613
Copiah2784
Attala27014
Lincoln24320
Monroe24224
Leflore24025
Harrison2346
Newton2243
Lamar2194
Yazoo2152
Pearl River20327
Pike19611
Adams18615
Lowndes1607
Noxubee1586
Washington1535
Warren1506
Bolivar14010
Jasper1393
Oktibbeha13410
Smith13110
Covington1271
Chickasaw12612
Clarke12616
Kemper12510
Lafayette1233
Carroll11310
Wayne1090
Marion1088
Lee1045
Clay993
Winston981
Coahoma983
Lawrence901
Hancock8711
Simpson850
Itawamba857
Yalobusha824
Wilkinson829
Montgomery781
Sunflower773
Grenada752
Jefferson Davis712
Union715
Tippah7011
Marshall693
Panola622
Calhoun604
Tate591
Claiborne581
Humphreys537
Amite521
Walthall510
Tunica483
Perry462
Jefferson400
Prentiss383
Stone300
Choctaw292
Webster271
Pontotoc263
Franklin252
Tishomingo250
Quitman240
Tallahatchie241
George191
Alcorn151
Benton140
Greene71
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 14478

Reported Deaths: 551
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile1996109
Jefferson161488
Montgomery118630
Marshall6499
Tuscaloosa50512
Lee49832
Franklin4476
Shelby43319
Tallapoosa39662
Butler34411
Chambers33623
Madison2964
Baldwin2749
Elmore2637
Etowah23610
DeKalb2213
Coffee2001
Walker1981
Dallas1973
Sumter1916
Lowndes18610
Houston1644
Morgan1621
Autauga1593
Calhoun1413
Choctaw1414
Pike1360
Colbert1362
Marengo1336
Hale1293
Russell1280
Lauderdale1282
Randolph1257
Wilcox1187
Marion11310
Bullock1111
Barbour1101
Clarke1022
St. Clair1021
Pickens934
Talladega912
Greene894
Chilton871
Dale830
Cullman760
Limestone740
Jackson692
Covington651
Washington645
Winston620
Macon602
Bibb591
Crenshaw582
Henry562
Blount491
Escambia433
Lawrence420
Coosa331
Geneva330
Cherokee332
Perry310
Monroe282
Clay272
Conecuh251
Lamar200
Cleburne131
Fayette110
Unassigned00
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