Health leaders keeping tabs on Ga. flu numbers

Health leaders keeping tabs on Ga. flu numbers

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - This year’s flu season is in full swing and it won’t be easing up anytime soon.

The season started early and it’s still going strong.

"We can’t really predict the future. We don’t know how long we will have the widespread flu with us, but it’s very common that it remains a problem through February into March, by April its usually tapering off,” said Dr. Charles Ruis with the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH).

Health experts said they’re tracking widespread flu cases and outbreaks across the state.

About 15 people in Georgia have died from the virus so far this season, including one in Southwest Georgia according to DPH leaders.

“People with influenza mix in public, it spreads easily and pretty quickly and especially in schools,” explained Ruis.

"Another thing that’s really important is that if you’re sick or have signs or symptoms, don’t go to work because that’s happening a lot, seeing a lot of clustering of the flu among people who are in the same facility or at home or at work,” said Jacqueline Jenkins who is also with the Georgia Department of Public Health. “Hospitals, they’re seeing more people coming through the ERs with flu and flu-like symptoms. They’re having more hospitalizations due to the flu, we’re seeing them in our most vulnerable populations like people in long-care facilities like nursing homes.”

“Emergency rooms are seeing more patients than typical for this time of year for influenza-like illness. Most of those are being tested and we’re having some high numbers of positive tests. So the flu is here and it’s always here in the wintertime, but it has arrived a little early this season" said. Ruis.

Doctors said that getting a flu shot is the most effective way to prevent catching the flu.

If you have flu-like symptoms, you need to see a doctor within 48-hours to receive the best medical care.

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