Flu season

NPR

Two Athens hospitals are working together to help residents fight the flu.

Experts at Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center and St. Mary’s Health Care System are urging area residents to take precautions to protect themselves from the flu this season.

“We kind of hope that our message combine will be well-received by the community and that it will better stress the importance of getting a flu vaccine.”

That’s Sydney Walker with Piedmont Athens Regional, she says both facilities recommend getting a flu shot.

AP Photo/David Goldman

The flu has further tightened its grip on the U.S. This season is now as bad as the swine flu epidemic nine years ago.

A government report out Friday shows 1 of every 13 visits to the doctor last week was for fever, cough and other symptoms of the flu. That ties the highest level seen in the U.S. during swine flu in 2009.

And it surpasses every winter flu season since 2003, when the government changed the way it measures flu.

Coroner: Teen is First Flu-Related Child Death in Georgia

Feb 1, 2018
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A Georgia county coroner says a 15-year-old girl is the state's first flu-related child death this season.

Coweta County Coroner Richard Hawk told news outlets that Kira Molina died Tuesday at an Atlanta hospital. He says the Newnan High School student had initially tested negative for the flu upon developing symptoms last week, but was found unresponsive on Sunday. She was hospitalized in Newnan and then airlifted to Atlanta.

Hawk says Molina's liver failed because of influenza A, not an acetaminophen overdose, referencing accounts from other media outlets.

Jim Gathany

This year's flu season is off to a quick start and so far it seems to be dominated by a nasty bug.
Health officials say the flu vaccine seems well matched to the viruses making people sick, but it's too early to tell how bad this season will be. The main flu bug this season tends to cause more deaths and hospitalizations and vaccines tend not to work as well against this type.
Flu began picking up last month. By the end of last week, seven states reported widespread flu activity: Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Virginia.

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