BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – The Jefferson County Department of Health is reporting a nearly 3% increase in flu cases in the past week, and with Thanksgiving on the horizon, that number is expected to continue to increase over the next few weeks.

The Department of Health’s latest report on flu activity shows a 2.86% increase in flu cases over the past week.

Dr. Wesley Willieford with the Jefferson County Department of Health said he does expect to see flu case counts rise as we get into the holiday season. With Thanksgiving just a few days away, he said if you’re feeling sick, it’s best to stay home.

“If you are feeling poorly, having fevers, having chills, a real bad productive cough that’s new, you’re probably going to want to hold back from these activities or be in another part of the house away from people. This is a great time to pass that on to other people,” Dr. Willieford said.

Dr. Willeford said the flu shot is the best line of defense against the flu. He also said he wanted to remind everyone to wash their hands and stay home from work or school if they’re experiencing symptoms of sickness.

You can check the Jefferson County Department of Health’s weekly flu activity here.