DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - The Dougherty County Coroner has identified that the first flu death of the year was a resident at Pruitt Health nursing home.
The Coroner and the Dougherty County Health Department say there are increasing cases in that nursing home and in the community.
Health officials say the best way to prevent the spread of the flu is to make sure you and your family have gotten a flu shot.
Most of the cases they are seeing are of those who have not gotten the shot yet.
"This is our first flu death this year. Since I've been in office, this is the first one I remember," said Michael Fowler, Coroner.
The death was 73-year-old Laura Youman, a resident at Pruitt Health.
The Coroner, Michael Fowler, says now at least nine of the residents at the nursing home are infected.
"If you're going into the hospital or the nursing home, you see so many different people in there. Even in restaurants, be mindful because it's out there," said Fowler.
The Public Health Director for Southwest Georgia, Charles Ruis, says everyone should was their hands whenever possible, especially folks in a nursing home or medical facility.
Ruis recommends that everyone get a flu shot.
If someone in the family is sick, he recommends everyone who lives in the home should go to the doctor.
"Usually their family members who are in close contact can also be prescribed that same antiviral medicine. That will help them avoid spreading and getting the flu," said Ruis.
The virus can be spread through the air so avoid coughing or sneezing without covering your mouth you can use the inside of your elbow to cover your mouth.
"For a person who has the flu, they'll feel like they've been hit by a mac truck, it's not fun," said Ruis.
Children under the age of two are highly at risk, as well as elderly over the age of 65.
"No matter how old you are, we still advise the flu shot, once a year. It's good for everyone to have one," said Ruis.