Flu season hits South Georgia

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By: Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News
January 7, 2019

LOWNDES COUNTY, Ga. (WCTV) -- Flu season is on the rise in South Georgia.

Officials with the Georgia Department of Public Health are asking citizens to take extra precautions as the peak of flu season is now underway.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention called 2018 a severe season for the flu, and local officials are hoping that will lead to more people getting the flu vaccine.

Health experts said flu activity is higher now than it was last year at this time. Between September 30 and December 29, more than 400 people in Georgia were hospitalized with flu-like symptoms.

With school now back in session after the holidays, health experts said it's important to take extra precautions.

"You have a high number of children in a confined area for a long period of time throughout the day, five days per week. The chance of circulation is high, so we want to keep the ones that are sick out, and encourage those who haven't been vaccinated to get vaccinated," said epidemiologist Kenneth Lowery.

Lowery said it's hard to predict how severe a flu season will be. The season typically peaks through February, sometimes into March. Lowery said the best defense is to get a flu vaccination.