Flu deadly for two in Georgia - CBS46 News

Flu deadly for two in Georgia

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ATLANTA (CBS46) -

The Centers for Disease Control held a press conference Thursday after Georgia State health officials announce the flu season's first deaths.

The Georgia Department of Public Health confirms two flu-related deaths in the state. These are the first flu-related deaths in Georgia this season. Both of the deceased were adults.

"Flu deaths occur every year. It's always a very sobering reminder for us that the flu is an infection that can be serious," said Dr. Cherrie Drenzek, GDPH.

While the flu level is still considered minimal in Georgia, GDPH reports increases in flu activity statewide, including hospitalizations.

Symptoms of the flu include cough, runny nose, sore throat and fever. One of the most pronounced flu symptoms is an overall feeling of achiness and malaise that comes on quickly.

"The single most effective way to prevent the flu is the flu vaccine. Every healthy individual over the age of 6 months should get a flu vaccine, unless there are underlying medical conditions. In those cases, patients should consult their physician," said J. Patrick O'Neal, M.D., director of health protection, GDPH. "The holidays bring gatherings with family and friends and increase the likelihood of spreading the flu. Now is the time to get vaccinated."

Frequent and thorough hand washing also helps guard against the flu. Alcohol-based gels are the next best thing if there is no access to soap and water. Cover the nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing to help prevent the spread of the flu. Use a tissue or cough or sneeze into the crook of the elbow or arm. Avoid touching your face as flu germs can get into the body through mucus membranes of the nose, mouth and eyes. If you are sick, stay home from school or work. Flu sufferers should be free of a fever without the use of a fever reducer for at least 24 hours before returning to work or school.

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