January 29, 2003
(Atlanta-AP) -- Alison Han, state influenza surveillance coordinator, says the Georgia Division of Public Health has recorded five more positive flu specimens since the state's first positive case was confirmed in December.
Han said that the department expects increasing flu activity. Georgia updated its flu status from sporadic to regional flu activity on January 18th. Han says reports of flu and higher absenteeism in schools are coming from a number of different counties. The five confirmed flu cases all were in the Atlanta area.
One sample, a type A strain, was submitted from Decatur this month. The state's first confirmed sample was a type A strain found in Decatur last month. Officials say three more type A strains were confirmed in Atlanta this month, and the state's first type B strain was found on January 12th.
The flu is a contagious disease caused by the influenza virus. It attacks the respiratory tract. According to the CDC, most recover in one or two weeks but some can develop life-threatening complications.
The flu kills about 36,000 people each year and about 114,000 end up in the hospital. Health officials stress the importance of flu shots.
posted at 10:50AM by email@example.com
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