County sees late flu surge

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Pediatrician: It’s in all the schools

Local school officials and health care providers say there has been a late-season surge in the flu this year.

At Straughn Elementary School, there were some 75 students absent on Tuesday.

“We had type A flu from mid-January to early April,” local pediatrician Dr. Gabrielle Baldwin said. “It died down for about two weeks. Now we have an outbreak of type B flu. And it’s at every school.”

At Andalusia Elementary, students have been absent with flu and strep throat, principal Alane Brunson said.

Laura Darby of Darby’s Pharmacy, said cases have been trickling in since flu season began.

“It never stopped, really,” she said. “But we usually don’t see this many this late.”

This is the latest she’s ever seen this many flu cases, she said.

Jeff Bailey of Bailey’s Pharmacy, agreed

“By this time, we’re usually past the flu,” he said. “A few years ago, we had an early season that started in September, and I had never seen that before, either.”

The local trend is not in keeping with national trends. The Centers for Disease Control’s most recent flu report shows only 6.9 percent of respiratory specimens were positive for flu in the last week of April, the most recent data available. In the CDC’s Region 4, which includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, only 1 of 8 jurisdictions reported regional or widespread activity.