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Flu season off to busy start in Savannah

Flu season off to busy start in Savannah
Flu season off to busy start in Savannah(WTOC)
Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 7:51 AM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Flu season is off to a busy start for pediatricians in Savannah.

Pediatric Associates of Savannah says they are seeing a high rate of teenagers testing positive for flu this season. Right now across their three locations, they have a 50 percent positivity rate for influenza.

The strain they are mainly seeing is Influenza A - the H3N2 strain - which is one of the strains protected in this year’s flu vaccine. But Dr. Ben Spitalnick says they are seeing low flu vaccination rates this year and that is a concern. He also says since there was virtually no flu cases circulating last year, we might have a lower natural immunity this year.

Those two factors are already causing an impact on flu season locally, especially among teens.

“And that is what pediatricians are seeing right now is an overwhelming amount of Influenza A, sick kids with 102/103 fevers, chills, aches, a really bad cough and being sick for several days. Mostly not immunized but we are seeing some cases in kids that had the flu vaccine,” said Dr. Ben Spitalnick, Pediatric Associates of Savannah.

Some area high schools are already being hit hard with flu and other seasonal illnesses. BC High School even went virtual one day last week just to deep clean the school because of all the sicknesses going around its campus.

It is still not too late to get your flu shot. You can make an appointment anytime but you need to keep in mind that it does take two weeks before you’ll have protection, so if you want to be protected by the Christmas holiday, this week is your last chance.

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