SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - While the Novel Coronavirus has been making headlines, the latest statistics show the flu is persisting through Georgia right now, and at high rates.
The Georgia Department of Heath says so far 47 people have died from the flu across Georgia. South Carolina is also widespread.
The flu has been widespread throughout the state of Georgia for several weeks now but emergency departments like the one at Candler Hospital have seen several people coming in to get their symptoms checked.
“Yes, flu is something definitely that we are worried about and that we’re treating," said Rita Allen, BSN, Infection Preventionist, St. Joseph’s/Candler.
While several are worried about the Novel Coronavirus, or as it’s named now COVID-19, health care providers say the flu is more predominate here in Georgia. In one week, nearly 24 percent of people tested for influenza came up positive.
Right now the most common strain is Influenza A which is typically covered by the flu shot. Infection preventionists at Candler say while they are seeing a lot of people with the flu they feel more people are asking questions and getting checked because of the fear of coronavirus.
“I think every once in a while people are worried. I get questions myself about you know, ‘I have traveled to such and such place’ or ‘my family members have traveled here and there and these are the symptoms, do I need to be worried about that?’ So, here in the ED we have a regular protocol that we use for all illnesses where we ask the primary complaint and we ask travel history.”
Healthcare professionals say it’s important to take all precautions from getting the flu shot, to washing your hands. They say if you do feel sick you should avoid contact with others and call your doctor before going to see them.