Atlanta, GA (CBS46) Weeks after the state of Georgia was named as one of the top states in the nation in terms of flu activity, the situation isn't getting much better.

Georgia has been dealing with a high level of flu activity for several weeks now and the CDC has ranked the state among the top three in terms of the flu outbreak.

The Georgia Department of Health says the flu has killed at least four people in the state and more than 400 have been hospitalized since September 30.

Flu-like illnesses have also sent more than 36,000 people to the doctor's office statewide.

Since the H1N1 virus emerged in 2009, it has been associated with significant illness among young children. 

So when will it let up? Dr. Daniel Jernigan, director of the influenza division of the CDC, says it could be a while.

"We actually work with a number of infectious disease modelers and they are forecasting when they think the peak would be and about 75 percent of those forecasts have the peak in late January. But we don't know if that will be the case," Dr. Jernigan told CBS46.

Officials say the vaccine is your best defense against the flu.

The effectiveness of the flu shot varies from year to year, usually ranging from about 35 percent to 75 percent.

Even if you get the flu after getting a shot, it still can reduce the effects of the illness.

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

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