Flu outbreak filling hospitals in Alabama

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama hospitals are filling up with patients because of a worsening influenza outbreak.
The acting state health officer, Scott Harris, says hospitals in nearly one-third of Alabama’s counties are at 90 percent of their patient capacity, and some are full.

UAB Hospital is rescheduling non-emergency elective operations to help free up bed space, and it’s asking visitors to stay away to prevent spreading the flu. Gov. Kay Ivey has issued a flu emergency that gives hospitals some leeway in following their care plans.
A large private school in metro Birmingham, Briarwood Christian, canceled classes on Friday because of a large number of sick students and employees.

State health officials say widespread flu cases are being reported in Alabama, but the illness hasn’t reached the level of a pandemic.