Flu Season Remains in Full Swing

Health officials step up flu prevention efforts in Georgia

"There is more than one flu virus circulating this season", she said. That compares to one death for same period a year ago. After its case peak, the flu epidemic will slowly decline until about August.

"We've administered to probably about 150, 200 more people just in the last week or so", said Rita Foster, RN for the East Shore Health District. "It may be hard now so late in the season but still worth it because flu season can last until end of March or the beginning of April".

According to CNN, there have been 11,965 lab-confirmed flu-related hospitalizations from October 1 to January 20. Things could still level out, but officials said that right now it's not looking good. For people at high risk of complications from the flu - such as those 65 or older, young children, pregnant women, and people with other medical issues - it could mean the difference between having a milder illness versus a very serious illness that could result in hospitalization.

If you get influenza, take the medication prescribed by your medical provider completely.

"I wash my hands at every chance I get!", says Ryan McCann, senior at Wake Tech Community College.

Emergency rooms around the US are crowded with flu patients as the country experiences one of the most intense flu seasons in years, according to news reports. A healthy person with influenza also will usually miss three to five days of work, school, or other usual activities, and sometimes may miss seven to ten days.

There have been 11,683 laboratory confirmed influenza cases reported to the state Department of Health, and 2,221 residents hospitalized due to flu. "The most effective way to protect yourself and your loved ones from the flu is by getting a flu vaccination".

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Children under 6 months of age with flu symptoms should be evaluated by a physician. Earlier this year, Queensway Carleton Hospital cancelled elective surgeries for two days when it became overwhelmed with flu and other cases. There are ample supplies available throughout the state.

That number is in line with a trend at local health departments. According to health officials, the vaccine is approximately 32 percent effective against spreading the H3N2 viruses.

The flu can be highly contagious and cause potentially life-threatening disease.

Infection with the flu virus can cause fever, headache, cough, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing and body aches, according to state health officials.

Health departments in Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, Liberty and McIntosh counties will also be offering free flu shots from 8 a.m.to 3 p.m. Friday.

That also helps prevent the spread of the virus because some people infected with the Flu can go weeks without showing symptoms, meaning they can spread the virus before they even know they have it.

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