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CDC: 4 dead, more than 300 hospitalized in Georgia as flu spreads

14 January 2018

The Commissioner of Public Health warned that there have been 15 flu-related deaths of people 65 and older this season, with that same age group making up the majority of the more than 450 flu hospitalizations.

Past year for the entire season, which runs October through May, Summit County totaled 10 deaths.

"It still means we have a lot more flu to go", said Dr. Dan Jernigan, director of the CDC's Influenza Division at the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

Even if the vaccine is not as effective for the current strain of the flu, Echols said people should still get it as a precaution.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and TDH recommend a yearly flu vaccine for everyone aged six months and older.

The majority of cases continue to be the H3N2 subtype of Influenza A, a particularly brutal strain that tends to cause more severe illness, particularly among the elderly and children.

It can be hard to tell in real time where a flu season will fall on the severity scale, because sometimes reports of influenza hospitalization and deaths - especially deaths among children - lag.

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While a flu-free season has been elusive for a number of Ashlanders, Gerwig said it's not too late to reduce your chances of getting sick from the virus or spreading it to vulnerable friends and family.

Flu symptoms include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, congestion, body aches, headaches and severe fatigue. "So far this season, influenza A-H3N2 has been the most common form of influenza".

Eleven people have died from the flu in Travis County this season, according to updated numbers released Thursday.

Haggie says all people can really do is monitor their own health, wash their hands a little more than usual and stay away from anyone who is at greater risk should they be infected with the flu.

In fact, we've heard of one care home dealing with a triple outbreak right now - both types of flu, plus a gastrointestinal bug. Officials warn if you have flu-like symptoms you should not visit patients in hospitals or nursing homes.

"We've seen some on and off shortages but we have seen the warehouse show zero for Tamiflu quantity on hand", Winter said. For the first time in 13 years - for as long as they have been monitoring flu activity in this particular way - this is the first time we have seen nearly the same activity across the country.

Health officials also encouraged people to stay away from emergency departments unless symptoms were serious.

CDC: 4 dead, more than 300 hospitalized in Georgia as flu spreads