Health Dept.: Flu hits epidemic level Georgia - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Health Dept.: Flu hits epidemic level Ga.

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ATLANTA (WTOC) -

Two adults in Georgia have died from the flu so far, according to the Georgia Dept. of Public Health.

The Georgia Dept. of Public Health said Friday that a flu epidemic has hit Georgia. The flu is hitting Georgia harder this year than it has in nearly a decade, according to a health dept. press release.

The predominant strain of flu circulating in Georgia and around the country is H3N2. The health department maintains that the vaccine is a close match and that it's effective in preventing and minimizing flu symptoms.

Flu-related hospitalizations are high. The symptoms and intensity can vary from person to person.

"We are seeing some decrease in flu activity, but we are still at epidemic level and the flu is unpredictable," said Patrick O'Neal, M.D., director of the Division of Health Protection, Georgia Department of Public Health, in a statement. "We are getting reports of more severe flu effects in neighboring states, including the number of deaths.  Peak flu season typically does not happen until late January or early February so we may not have seen the worst yet." 

The health department stresses that it isn't too late to get a flu vaccine and that there is plenty of the vaccine available statewide.

Flu prevention symptoms from the Ga. Dept. of Public Health:

  • Frequent and thorough hand washing with warm water and soap
  • Cover the nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing
  • Use a tissue or cough or sneeze into the crook of the elbow or arm
  • Avoid touching your face as flu germs can get into the body through mucus membranes of the nose, mouth and eyes. 
  • If you are sick, stay home from school or work. Flu sufferers should be free of a fever without the use of a fever reducer for at least 24 hours before returning to work or school. 
  • Keep sick person away from other people as much as possible.
  • Keep the sick person away from common areas of house.
  • Clean the sick room and the bathroom once a day with household disinfectant. 
  • No one should visit the sick person other than the caregiver.
  • Clean linens, eating utensils and dishes used by the sick person thoroughly before reusing.

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