Several flu cases spotted in Georgia - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Several flu cases spotted in Georgia

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Several cases of the flu are being spotted early in Georgia Several cases of the flu are being spotted early in Georgia
Dr. Jacqueline Grant says getting the flu vaccine is your best protection Dr. Jacqueline Grant says getting the flu vaccine is your best protection
Flu Vaccines are available at many pharmacies Flu Vaccines are available at many pharmacies
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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

After a fairly mild flu season last year this season is getting off to an early start. Several dozen flu cases have already been confirmed in Southwest Georgia over the last month or so. On Average 39,000 people die every year from the flu, and health officials say you need to go ahead and get your flu shot because the virus is already out there.

The flu season is starting early in Augusta where the University Hospital confirmed 10 cases of influenza among Georgia Regents University Students last week. Two of those students had to be hospitalized.

"We start to see the peak of flu around January or February so this seems to be a little bit higher volume for them than the usual volume at this time," said Southwest District Health Director Dr. Jacqueline Grant. 

 Doctors and hospitals around Southwest Georgia report the numbers of how many influenza cases they see each week. Southwest Public Health District officials have confirmed a few dozen cases in the district so far Mostly in Decatur and Grady County.

"We had 271 report influenza like illnesses and we had 41 that had positive flu test and one of those were positive in Dougherty County," said Dr. Grant.

Some people are more at risk for the flu than others.

 "Those are the very young, the very old and people with chronic diseases," said Dr. Grant.

 Health officials say getting the flu vaccine is your best protection.

"Anyone above the ages of six months of age can get the flu shot unless they have some type of allergy to the shot," said Dr. Grant.

Hand washing and covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze also prevents the flu from spreading. Health officials say the myth that getting the vaccine gives you the flu isn't true.

 "That is just not the case from the injection because there is no flu virus in the injection," said Dr. Grant.

Flu vaccines are available at County health departments and many pharmacies. It takes two weeks for the vaccine to rev up your immune system so that you can be protected. Click here for general information about the flu vaccine and flu vaccination clinics in your area.

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