Flu season hits Georgia early and hard - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

FOX Medical Team

Flu season hits Georgia early and hard

Posted: Updated:
ATLANTA -

If you're hearing a lot of coughing around you, there's a good reason. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says flu season has hit early, and harder than usually this year. Georgia is one of 41 states now reporting widespread flu.

Right now about 5.5 percent of all doctors' visits are because of flu-like illness.

If you are scared of needles, or just haven't made time to get a flu shot, you may want to rethink that pretty quickly.

"What we know about this year is that it seems to be starting sooner than most flu seasons. And the strain of flu that is spreading tends to be associated with earlier and more severe flu years," said Dr. Thomas Frieden of the CDC.

That means more sick kids are coming in to emergency department like the one at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston.

Children's Healthcare is asking parents to keep otherwise healthy children with flu home, treating them with Tylenol, fluids and lots of rest, rather than bringing them to the doctor and risky spreading the virus.

The Georgia Department of Public Health says in the metro Atlanta area, the flu intensity level is now a 10 out of 10. They're seeing the biggest increases in flu infection rates in kids four and under and adults 25 to 49.

Seasonal flu spread easily and comes on quick with a week of fever, headache, body aches, fatigue, and a sore throat that can last a week.

The CDC says it's not too late to get vaccinated, but do it soon, because your body needs a couple of weeks to build up immunity.

If you do get sick flu, antiviral medications like Tamiflu and Relenza can help, but you need a doctor's prescription, and there most effective when started very early.

Flu is most dangerous for young children, seniors and people with underlying illnesses like Asthma, heart disease and diabetes, and can be risky for pregnant women.

The last week of December, the Georgia Department of Public Health says there were 59 hospitalizations due to influenza infection.

Flu season usually heats up in January and February, but doctors have seen a jump in patients coming in with flu symptoms since late November.

Right now just over 5 percent of Georgians go to the doctor and are doing so because they think they might have flu.

Statewide so far this season, 332 have been hospitalized and there has been one flu-related death.

Most of us will get through the flu OK, but if you have a shot at avoiding it, do it.

  • More Health NewsMore>>

  • FOX Medical Team

    5 fat-burning foods you should try

    5 fat-burning foods you should try

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:44 AM EDT2014-07-22 11:44:51 GMT
    Tired of working out with no payoff, or counting calories and still not losing weight? Healthy chef Nancy Waldeck at the Family Wellness Center at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital pulled together five fat-burning foods you need to discover!
    Tired of working out with no payoff, or counting calories and still not losing weight? Healthy chef Nancy Waldeck at the Family Wellness Center at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital pulled together five fat-burning foods you need to discover!
  • Patients urged to 'partner' with caregivers

    Patients urged to 'partner' with caregivers

    Monday, July 21 2014 6:00 PM EDT2014-07-21 22:00:32 GMT
    One woman teamed up with her doctors and got some answers to her health problems.
    One woman teamed up with her doctors and got some answers to her health problems.
  • Summer camp helps kids with Tourette's syndrome

    Summer camp helps kids with Tourette's syndrome

    FOX Medical TeamFOX Medical Team
    A summer camp for children with Tourette's syndrome is helping children embrace their disorder.
    A summer camp for children with Tourette's syndrome is helping children embrace their disorder.
Powered by WorldNow

KDFW FOX 4
400 N. Griffin Street
Dallas, Texas 75202

Main Station Directory:
(214) 720-4444
News Fax:
(214) 720-3263 or (214) 720-3333

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices