Georgia health officials name flu season worst in a decade

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By: Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News
January 29, 2018

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WCTV) -- Georgia medical experts are calling it one of the worst flu seasons in years.

The Georgia Department of Public Health has cited 25 flu related deaths so far this season, and it could be getting worse.

Georgia DHS says over 100 hospitalizations in metro areas of the state last week alone were caused by the flu, bringing the season total to 671.

Doctors at the South Georgia Medical Center say we're in the peak of flu season.

"Particulatly here down in Georgia we're especially hard hit. We've seen record numbers in the urgent care, record numbers in the youth care, for just overall visits this flu season," said Dr. Kyle Adams. "The main campus hospital is absolutely inundated, the emergency departments and the hospital floors as well."

Around the region, doctors say a Tamiflu shortage is also following the recent outbreaks.

"The flu itself is a very strong virus. It changes, it mutates, it changes all the time. So we try to predict it with the vaccine, sometimes vaccines aren't as effective and then there's sensitive populations; children, elderly, that are more affected than others," said Adams.

Adams says it's never too late to get a flu shot. Even if you already had the flu, getting a shot will only amp up how many strains of the virus you can fight off. The vaccine can also help minimize symptoms if you do catch the flu.

Experts say some things you can do to prevent the flu from spreading is frequently washing your hands, covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing and staying home if you're sick.

The Lowndes County Health Department is offering free flu shots for uninsured adult community members on Tuesday while supplies last. For more information call the department at 229-333-5257.

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