North Georgians Urged to Take Extra Precautions as Viral Illnesses Increase

Brandon Parsons
January 12, 2018

What health officials do know for sure, however, is that one of the nastiest flu strains is most prevalent now. "Being vaccinated from the flu significantly lessens the risk of flu-associated hospitalizations and deaths".

Outpatient visits to doctors and other medical professionals by people suffering from influenza-like illnesses were above normal baseline levels in every region of the country, the CDC reported. It is more crucial for patients to see a health care provider if they have a chronic medical condition like diabetes or heart problems or if they are younger or even old.

This year, about 80 percent of confirmed flu cases so far are due to this strain of the flu, The New York Times reports.

"For the love and well-being of our family, especially our children, we all need to keep washing our hands frequently, . stay home when you have flu-like symptoms (and) take your medication and vitamins as prescribed by your doctor". Free flu vaccines for children 6 months old through 18 years are available at the department's Immunization clinic, 3920 Michigan Avenue, Fort Myers.

"It is not too late to vaccinate against the flu", said Sherry Gregory, RN, North Georgia Health District Infectious Disease Supervisor.

Bhide said many people are catching the flu in public, on airplanes, at gyms, and movie theaters. "We're seeing increasing cases in hospitals and increasing rates of death".

It's uncertain exactly how long the flu will stick around, but Baber said the vaccines don't expire until the end of June.

Flu activity is on the rise in the Tri-Cities.

Influenza viruses constantly mutate, making it impossible to predict which strain will predominate in a season, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The good news is that there's a vaccine! .

Lifestyle is also a factor, as people who drink alcohol or smoke are more susceptible to the virus. Preliminary estimates of flu vaccine effectiveness from this past year show the vaccine was roughly 40 percent effective.

If you get vaccinated it does take a few weeks to kick in.

"Symptoms for the flu aren't just sniffles and coughing, though you will often have those too, combined with a high temperature", Dr McGarry explained. But experts still stress that you should get the vaccine.

Dr Iley said: "Having the flu jab may give you some protection against the altered strain".

"The percentage is alarming because it means that nearly two-thirds of pregnant women are potentially not protected", said Dr. Tracy Foo, DHEC's Immunization and Acute Disease Epidemiology Division. It is recommended that a sick person stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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