MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — There has been a rise in flu cases over the past month, and now we’re getting a better look at just how many cases we’re seeing among children in Mobile County.
The flu is spreading across the nation. Doctors are calling it an unusual season, especially among children.
“Typically on a regular year, we would not see a significant increase in the number of cases of the flu until late December, early January, peaking around mid-January, and then usually in March,” said Dr. Benjamin Estrada, a Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist with USA Health.
According to USA Health, positive flu cases among children rose from 51 in September to 745 in October. That’s an increase of more than 1360% in just a month’s time.
“Early October, only about 1% of our children who were experiencing cold symptoms tested positive for influenza,” said Dr. Estrada. “Within just three weeks, that number jumped up to 20%. It’s something that is serious, especially in young children.”
In just the first three days of November, USA Health Children’s and Women’s said there were 138 children who tested positive for the virus. Doctors said some children are also staying sicker for longer.
We spoke with one mom last week who took her son to USA Health Children’s and Women’s after he had a severe reaction to the flu causing temporary paralysis.
“We came to USA Children and Women’s and when we got here, the line was pretty much wrapped all the way around,” said Nicole Rowell.
Doctors said hospitals are packed everywhere due to the virus.
“It’s a situation that has driven multiple hospitals to be almost at full capacity in the entire country,” said Dr. Estrada.
Doctors recommend anyone older than six months get the flu shot now. They also said to continue to do common sense things to prevent the spread of the virus, like washing your hands.