Pike County Times
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Flu Update for the Week Ending February 3, 2018

LAGRANGE - This is information from the week ending February 3, 2018. Hayla Folden, Public Information Officer for District 4, Georgia Department of Public Health advised that influenza activity has continued to rise both in Georgia and nationally, and said that this flu season is not over. "Additionally, we believe the number of influenza associated deaths, hospitalizations, and outbreaks are underestimated due to reporting delays and will increase in the coming weeks. If you have not gotten a flu shot yet, do not wait any longer!"

"The Influenza-like illness (ILI) intensity indicator for Georgia during Week 05 was high = 10, on the scale of 1-10, and the Georgia ILI Geographical Dispersion was widespread. There has been 66 confirmed influenza-associated deaths (including 2 pediatric deaths) statewide," she said. "We do not have an updated count for hospitalizations for week 5."

"The estimated vaccine efficacy for this season has not been reported yet, but it should be reported in the next few weeks," she said. "Vaccination is STILL the best way to prevent illness. We still have flu vaccine available in all District 4 health departments with no appointment needed."

Call 1.800.847.4262 to check vaccine supplies before arriving.

Georgia Weekly Influenza Report
Week 05 (January 28 — February 3, 2018) Synopsis


During week 05 there was HIGH influenza-like illness intensity with WIDESPREAD occurrences throughout Georgia.

Week 05 (January 28 — February 3, 2018) Synopsibr Outpatient Illness Surveillance (ILINet): The proportion of outpatient visits for ILI was 15.8%, which is above the regional baseline of 1.9%.

- Geographic Spread of Influenza: The geographic spread of influenza in Georgia was WIDESPREAD during week 05.

- Metro Area Hospitalizations: There were 120 hospitalizations due to in-fluenza infection during week 04. There have been 1,027 hospitalizations due to influenza so far this season. Week 05 data will be available next week.

- Influenza Related Deaths: As of week 05, there have been 66 confirmed influenza-associated deaths (2 pediatric) for the 2017-2018 season.

- Viral Surveillance: Of the 2,310 specimens tested by Georgia clinical labor-atories reporting to the National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System (NREVSS) during week 05, 1,179 (51.1%) were positive for influenza. Public Health Laboratories tested 8 specimens during week 05, 7 specimens were positive for influenza.

- Reported Influenza Outbreaks: There have been 112 influenza outbreaks reported to DPH so far this season.

- RSV Viral Surveillance: Of the 524 specimens tested and reported by the Georgia Public Health Laboratory (GPHL) and the National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System (NREVSS) collaborating laboratories during week 05, the percent positive of ALL laboratory tests was 11.3%.

Flu Symptoms and Prevention Methods from the DPH website:

Flu symptoms and their intensity can vary from person to person, and can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. If you think you have the flu, call or visit your doctor.

There are other things you can do to help prevent the spread of flu – tried and true measures your mother taught you.

- Frequent and thorough hand-washing with soap and warm water. Alcohol based gels are the next best thing if you don’t have access to soap and water.

- Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing to help prevent the spread of the flu. Use a tissue or cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow or arm.

- Avoid touching your face as flu germs can get into the body through mucus membranes of the nose, mouth and eyes.

- If you are sick, stay home from school or work. Flu sufferers should be free of a fever, without the use of a fever reducer, for at least 24 hours before returning to school or work.

Submitted 2.10.18