Flu season underway, virus widespread in Georgia, 3 other states - CBS46 News

Flu season underway, virus widespread in Georgia, 3 other states

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It’s that time of year, and flu season is underway.

It’s already widespread in four states including right here in Georgia. Greg Keener said he had the flu last year and was basically confined to his bed.

“The first two days, I didn’t realize I had it,” he said. “And that was it. I woke up one morning, and like I said, I feel like I got hit by a truck.”

If numbers are any indication of what’s to come, we’re in for a bad flu season. According to the CDC, confirmed flu cases in 2017 are at more than 7,000 right now, which is more than double what they were at this time last year.

“Usually it's kind of an abrupt onset,” said physician's assistant Scott Hearn with Roswell Urgent Care. “Fever, chills, body aches. Upper respiratory symptoms like a runny nose, congestion, headache.”

Some people are more susceptible to getting the flu.

“The very young, somebody very old,” Hearn said. “Anybody in between that has like really bad lung disease for instance and actually pregnant females.

According to the Dept. of Public Health, there have been no flu-related deaths this season in Georgia, but there have been 32 hospitalizations and flu activity is only increasing.

Both the CDC and the DPH stress getting a flu shot. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to build up and protect against the flu.

“Flu A peaks in January, Flu B a little bit later in February, so it’s not too late,” Hearn said.

The CDC recommends everyone six months and older get a flu shot each season. This year there are concerns that the shot is not very effective, but experts are still encouraging people to get it. 

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