GA’s Bad Flu Season Is Getting Worse: Here’s What You Need To Know

Usually defying the odds is a good thing, but when it comes to the flu, not so much. Unfortunately, this is exactly what Georgia—and its 10 million residents—are up against with this year’s flu season. According to the CDC, the peach state is one of only three states to have widespread flu activity. This means that flu cases have been reported across half the state—or more.


Because Georgia’s flu season has already ramped up, it’s important that each of us do our part to help minimize the spread of the flu. A great place to start is to remember the basics of flu prevention, this includes:

·         Getting vaccinated: your best defense against the flu is to get vaccinated. Keep in mind that everyone in your family—6 months or older—should be getting one annually.

·         Not sharing your germs: If you feel sick, make sure to stay home. Going into work or running errands won’t help anyone, especially you, as you’ll only be left feeling worn out and worse for wear.

·         Practicing good hygiene: This means more than remembering to wash your hands (we’ll get to that later). Remember to avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. And if you have to cough or sneeze, make sure to cover your mouth and nose.

·         Wash, wash and wash some more. Start with your hands—make sure that you’re washing properly and frequently. And don’t stop there. You’ll want to be sure to disinfect all potentially-contaminated surfaces, like doorknobs, remote controls and phones.

In addition to those flu-season musts, here are a few insights you should keep in mind to help protect yourself—and your loved ones—from those dreaded flu bugs:

·         The flu is spread in more ways than one… While the virus can live on objects for upwards of 48 hours (yikes!), it is most often passed through the air via a sneeze or cough.

·         …But not through the vaccine. The flu vaccine can’t give you the flu. That’s because the vaccine is made from pieces of dead flu virus cells. After getting the vaccine, some people have mild flu-like symptoms as a side effect. This is not the same thing as having the flu.

·         You may be contagious longer than you think. Even if you’re feeling better, or you haven’t started to feel ill, you can still spread the flu virus to others. According to the CDC, you’re contagious a day before symptoms start and up to 5 days afterward.

·         The flu causes more than just a fever. While a high fever is one of the most notorious symptoms of the flu, it isn’t the only one. And more importantly, a fever doesn’t always indicate that the flu is the culprit. Keep a look out for a high fever (defined as 102 degrees or higher), as well as these other symptoms:

o   Muscle aches
o   Chills
o   Runny nose
o   Congestion
o   Fatigue
o   Cough and/or sore throat
o   Headache
o   Nausea along with vomiting and/or diarrhea

I think I have the flu, now what: The best place to start is always with a trusted medical provider. To ensure that you have access to the care you need exactly when you need it, we offer a variety of different services at many convenient locations. In addition to our expert primary care providers, we also offer urgentand emergency care.

However, if we leave you with one key takeaway from this article (in addition to seeking medical care), it’s that getting the flu shotis always important—regardless of the month. While the flu season may have already begun, it’s never too late to take this important step in prevention to protect yourself and your family.

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