ATLANTA - More than 60 people have already died from flu-related complications in Georgia. At least two of those people were children. Forty-nine of those people were over the age of 65.
Hundreds are flooding hospitals and clinics with flu-like symptoms, and antivirals like Tamiflu are hard to find.
Flu guide | What you need to know about the 2018 flu season
According to the Georgia Department of Health, more cases of flu are on the way.
"Our flu activity here in Georgia has been very wide spread and very high for the previous seven weeks, and it actually still appears to be increasing. It doesn’t look like our flu activity has peaked here in Georgia," Dr. Cherie Drenzek said.
She also said she expects to see the number of flu-related deaths change.
"I do expect this number, unfortunately, to increase over time," Drenzek said. "Again, we receive reports of possible flu-related deaths throughout the season and we work very diligently to confirm these reports by medical record review and to ensure that they have appropriate laboratory testing."
Drenzek said this year has had the highest number of flu-associated deaths documented in Georgia, even higher than in the pandemic year of 2009 –2010.
She said in Georgia, there have been 112 flu outbreaks, "The vast majority of these have been in long term care facilities."
But, Drenzek said there are many more weeks of flu season left, so the flu shot is still a viable option for prevention. People who have already had the flu but didn't get the flu shot are still encouraged to get the shot to protect against other strains of the flu.
Flu activity is also high nationally. Nationally, the number of pediatric influenza deaths that have been reported are higher than other years. According to the Department of Health, 20 percent of those 63 children who died nationally had not been vaccinated.
Full flu season coverage:
- 'She was a beautiful and vibrant young woman.' Parents remember teen who died from flu complications
- Atlanta hospital deploys mobile emergency center to aid flu treatment
- Severe flu still widespread; baby boomers hit especially hard
- Getting tested for the flu: Sorting through different flu tests, 'false negative' tests and more
- This flu season is worse than past seasons
- Got the flu? Here's when to go to the ER
- Georgia State researchers develop new 'universal' vaccine to fight flu
- This year’s severe flu exposes a serious flaw in our medical system
- Parents, these are the best ways to prevent the flu for your kids
- VERIFY: Does Tamiflu work and should it be used at all?
- VERIFY: Are children dying from the flu because they were not vaccinated?
- VERIFY: Can you get the flu twice in one season?
- VERIFY: Do masks and wipes help protect you from the flu?
- VERIFY: Is there a flu vaccine shortage?
- VERIFY: Does breast milk actually protect babies from the flu?
- VERIFY: Do herbal remedies help ward off the flu?
- VERIFY: Does applying antibiotic ointment inside your nose help prevent the flu?
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