Experts concerned over rise in COVID and flu cases throughout Alabama


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — As hospitalizations from COVID-19 continue to rise nationwide, flu cases are spiking as well.

During the winter months, hospitals do see more and more flu hospitalizations, and given the current trend of both flu and COVID-19, doctors fear a harsh winter for the healthcare system.

“I have to reiterate that the health care field is going to be strained,” Dr. Anne Byars with Liberty Mountain Pediatrics said.

Dr. Byars says last year was hard enough for the medical field, especially hospitals.

“When we were really on lock down and not exposed to each other, the flu died and was not there. And thank goodness because I couldn’t imagine how we could have handled the numbers from COVID and the flu,” she said.

The pandemic has impacted many people outside the medical field, too. People like Se’Kawn Parnell say they have lost several loved ones to COVID, including a beloved aunt.

“And it still hitting the feels with me, and especially my mother,” Parnell said.

Parnell hopes more and more people consider getting vaccinated against COVID or getting the flu shot because he believes it will help keep people safe.

“I was hesitant, but after I got it, I was so thankful. I do not regret it at all,” Parnell said.

Dr. Wes Stubblefield with the Alabama Department of Public Health says flu prevention is the same as COVID prevention; wearing masks, social distancing, and staying home if a person is sick.

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