Widespread flu outbreak, high rates in South Georgia schools - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Widespread flu outbreak, high rates in South Georgia schools

(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)
DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) -

A major health alert for our community, there is a widespread flu outbreak.

And, it is not just in South Georgia, but across the state.

According to public health officials, every county in our region has reported flu virus and it is hitting school age children very hard.

The clinic at Turner Elementary School in Albany has been very busy with sick kids.

"We have had a significant increase in the amount of students that have come in with influenza, with strep throat and viral gastrointestinal issues in the last weeks," said Sara Trivette, an Albany Area Primary Health Care Physician's Assistant, who runs the clinic.

Dr. Charles Ruis, the Public Health Director for the Southwest Health District agreed, "Some schools have had more than 10% of their student population absent because of the flu."

Colquitt County schools shut down Tuesday for the rest of the week, hoping to stop the flu's spread.

In Lee County, the assistant superintendent said an average of 10% of the students attending mostly the lower schools in the western half of the county have been absent this week.

Parents in Lee County were noticed Tuesday about the outbreak, and asked to keep ill children home from school to contain the virus.

Dougherty County's spokesperson said children are absent from class due to illness across the county's schools, and the virus is not clustered in just one or two schools.

Dr. Ruis doesn't know why there is a late-season surge of the flu virus, but said  "One of the things that is different this year is that we are not using the nasal mist (vaccine) for the children. It is possible that might have had some effect, but we just don't know right now."

There are important steps people can take to prevent the flu, and stop it's spread.

"Hand washing is so important, washing hands with soap and water" said Trivette, plus keeping a sick child home, even one with a low-grade fever, is critical right now.

"It is important to not come if you are sick and then to stay out the full duration until you are no longer contagious. Unfortunately for kids who get the flu, they are out for potentially a full week of school."

The Public Health Director hopes that next week's spring break will help curb the spread of these viral illnesses, but encourages people to go ahead and get a flu shot, as the virus is expected to be a problem into April, maybe May.

Copyright 2017 WALB.  All rights reserved.

  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Family and friends honor victims of double homicide one year later

    Family and friends honor victims of double homicide one year later

    Monday, August 20 2018 4:26 AM EDT2018-08-20 08:26:16 GMT
    Family and friends of Francis Nelson and Mamie Childs celebrate the one year anniversary of the victim's death. (Source: WALB)Family and friends of Francis Nelson and Mamie Childs celebrate the one year anniversary of the victim's death. (Source: WALB)

    It's been one year since Francis Nelson and Mamie Childs were victims in a double homicide in Albany, which stemmed from a domestic violence. 

    More >>

    It's been one year since Francis Nelson and Mamie Childs were victims in a double homicide in Albany, which stemmed from a domestic violence. 

    More >>
  • Leaders work to end violence through basketball tournament

    Leaders work to end violence through basketball tournament

    Monday, August 20 2018 3:57 AM EDT2018-08-20 07:57:27 GMT
    Organizers hosted a 'Put the Guns Down' basketball tournament to end violence. (Source: WALB).Organizers hosted a 'Put the Guns Down' basketball tournament to end violence. (Source: WALB).

    An Albany native pleaded for the violence to stop in the city by taking his message to the basketball court for a city-wide tournament.  Organizers hosted a 'Put the guns down' basketball tournament as a way to end the violence in the city.  

    More >>

    An Albany native pleaded for the violence to stop in the city by taking his message to the basketball court for a city-wide tournament.  Organizers hosted a 'Put the guns down' basketball tournament as a way to end the violence in the city.  

    More >>
  • Westover High School alumni prepare for alumni weekend

    Westover High School alumni prepare for alumni weekend

    Monday, August 20 2018 3:53 AM EDT2018-08-20 07:53:26 GMT
    Westover High School Alumni Association planning big alumni weekend. (Source: WALB).Westover High School Alumni Association planning big alumni weekend. (Source: WALB).

    Alumni from the Westover Alumni Association said their Alumni weekend could generate a large number of funds and revenue for the City of Albany this week.  Westover High School is preparing now for their third annual alumni event this weekend.  

    More >>

    Alumni from the Westover Alumni Association said their Alumni weekend could generate a large number of funds and revenue for the City of Albany this week.  Westover High School is preparing now for their third annual alumni event this weekend.  

    More >>
Powered by Frankly