The flu’s grim toll for 2019-20 grew by three additional deaths for the week ending Feb. 8. Previously, the state had 44 deaths which tied the number of fatal cases reported between late September 2018 and mid-May 2019. With three months to go, this season already is the second deadliest in five years.
More than half the victims — 26– have been age 65 or older. Ages 18-49 saw nine deaths while 50-64 saw eight. The remaining four were ages infant through 17.
Georgia continues to be listed among the states with “widespread” flu reports; four additional “outbreaks” were reported last week as well.
For background purposes, some numbers from the previous four full seasons in Georgia:
- 2018-19: 44 deaths, 1,582 hospitalizations.
- 2017-18: 151 deaths, 3,139 hospitalizations.
- 2016-17: 9 deaths, 1,484 hospitalizations.
- 2015-16: 7 deaths, 582 hospitalizations.
WHAT TO KNOW
All area hospitals continue visitor restrictions because of flu:
- No visitors other than immediate family members or other people approved by the patient
- No visitors younger than 13
- No visitors with flu-like symptoms, which include cough, sore throat, fever, chills, aches, runny or stuffy nose and vomiting or diarrhea.
- Get a flu shot to protect yourself from this year’s flu virus strains. It’s your best defense against the flu.
- Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds with warm water and soap
- Cover your mouth if you cough or sneeze
- If you feel sick, wear a facemask to help prevent germs from spreading
- When sick, stay home to avoid exposing others
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