Flu hospitalizations and deaths climb in Georgia

Kenny Tucker
January 13, 2018

While flu-related deaths are not uncommon, the number of people being treated for the virus this season is, say officials.

Even though we're at the peak, we likely have 11 to 13 more weeks left in the flu season.

Montana is current seeing widespread influenza activity and the CDC is also warning the public about the potential severity this flu season poses. Last week, just over 1,300 cases. Wake Forest Baptist, Cone Health, and Novant Health put in visitor restrictions for the rest of the flu season.

This all serves as a reminder, Jernigan says, that while most people recover from flu after a few days, it can also lead to severe illness and death in others. It's still the best protection against H3N2 flu and other flu strains, such as H1N1 and B viruses.

Further compounding the issue is this year's flu shot. Vaccine effectiveness against H3N2 viruses has been around 30 percent.

The tragic incidents should serve as a reminder for parents to have their children administered with flu shots, as they are the most vulnerable to the disease.

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Flu‐like symptoms include: fever, cough, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, muscle aches, chills and fatigue.

First, it's still not too late to get a flu shot.

"What we're seeing this year - the influenza season started earlier and seems to be peaking right about now", Dr. Daniel B. Jernigan, director of the Influenza Division in the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) at the CDC, told "GMA" Wednesday.

They said the flu has particularly impacted the state's older residents and the state's hospitals. County officials stressed that sadly people die from the flu every year, but said people should take precautions.

Flu vaccines have been less effective in fighting H3N2 than other influenza flu viruses, making this particular strain more hard to contain. Get an annual flu shot, cover coughs and sneezes with the crook of the arm, wash hands with warm soap and water, and stay home if sick.

The Houston Independent School District said its nurses have reported 421 students with flu-like symptoms since the beginning of the school year, but only 118 have been confirmed flu cases. Both Garcia and Grey still recommend getting the flu vaccine because it may reduce the symptoms and the duration of the flu.

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