MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The state health department is reminding Alabamans to get their flu shots.

The Alabama Department of Public Health said Thursday that the state is experiencing a spike in influenza-like illnesses this winter. A department statement said vaccines can lower the chances of catching the flu by more than 60 percent.

The press release says people can ward off the flu by washing their hands, covering coughs and staying home when sick.

Alabama is one of 23 states seeing an increase in flu-like activity.