Hospitals issue flu alert

MADISON COUNTY – In a rare joint announcement, the Huntsville Hospital system and Crestwood Medical Center have issued a flu alert in effect at all Madison County hospitals.

Officials at the hospitals released the statement because of increasing incidences of flu. They ask that individuals who are experiencing flu-like symptoms to avoid visiting patients in the hospital.

This request will serve the best interests of hospitalized patients, families and staff, Huntsville Hospital, Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children, Madison Hospital and Crestwood Medical Center.

Flu-like symptoms include fever, runny nose, coughing, sore throat, body aches, headaches, chills and fatigue.

Hospital management also strongly encourages individuals who are at high risk for developing the flu not to enter the hospital except to receive medical care. This group of high-risk people includes pregnant women, anyone with a chronic medical condition, people who are older than 65 years old and children who are younger than 12 years old.

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, significant influenza activity has been reported in 55 of the state’s 67 counties, including Madison, Morgan, Limestone, Jackson and Marshall counties. By following the precautions stated earlier, area hospitals hope to limit the spread of the flu.

All residents are encouraged to continue to practice good hand hygiene and other flu prevention habits, such as sneezing and coughing into your sleeve. Visitors to the hospital should ask for a mask, which the staff will be glad to provide to anyone.

In addition, even at this time of year, receiving a flu vaccine shot is not too late and may help in avoiding the flu.

For more information, visit hhsys.org or crestwoodmedcenter.com.

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