As Birmingham enters the midst of winter, it also enters the realm of something a little more pesky: the flu.
In a recent FluView report performed by the Center for Disease Control that looked at the week of Dec. 18, flu activity increased across the country, but four states had a high amount of flu-like illnesses: Georgia, Alabama, Arizona and Oklahoma.
The flu, which is a virus-borne illness, has the ability to affect large groups of people very quickly.
"The flu can cause mild to severe illness and can be deadly – especially to vulnerable people, including the very young, the elderly and those with certain chronic health conditions," said Lindsey Allumbaugh of Tenet Health, a partner of Brookwood Baptist Health.
Symptoms of the flu include fever, coughing, headaches, muscle aches and a sore throat. Some people may experience vomiting or diarrhea as well, but this is more common in children than adults according to the CDC.
While it is not too late to late to get your flu shot for the season, those who think they may be experiencing flu-like symptoms are encouraged to stay home and avoid contact with others or to visit their care provider.