ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) -- Flu is widespread in Georgia and on the rise.

But it is also having record numbers across the country, making it on pace to be the worst flu season in decades.

According to the CDC, for the past eight weeks seasonal influenza activity in the United States has been on the rise.

In Georgia, six people died from the flu between Christmas and New Year's Day, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. Making the total since the flu season began to 15 deaths in the state this flu season.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a dramatic spike in flu cases nationwide during the last week of December. Government health officials say 2019 total flu cases through December 28th led to at least 6.4 million illnesses, 55,000 hospitalizations and 2,900 deaths.

Doctors advise that if you have not yet, get the flu shot because it is not too late.

However, there have also been reports that the flu shot may not be working as well as experts had hoped this season, but Dr. Danielle Ward says, even if you come down with the flu, having the vaccine can help lessen the symptoms so that patients can recover faster.

Doctors also advise washing your hands and covering your mouth by sneezing or coughing into your arm, rather than your hand.

At Urgent Care Atlanta on Peachtree they are seeing a few patients a day with the flu. Dr. Ward says there is a 48-hour period where the flu is treatable

“If you wake up and have a severe temperature by temperature, I mean 100.5 or more and you feel achy I mean achy where your muscles hurt, you feel tired and run down. Generally, people with the flu have a headache that's when people come see us, if its within 48 hours otherwise stay home and get rest.”

If you show symptoms of the flu stay at home and rest.

Copyright 2019 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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