Georgia tops nation in flu increase

Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010 2:40 PM
Last updated 3:49 PM
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Flu is taking off in Georgia more than any other state as public health returns to Richmond County schools to try to get more kids vaccinated.
In the latest flu surveillance report for the week that ended Nov. 20, Georgia is the only state reporting a high level of flu activity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Two others, Oklahoma and West Virginia, reported low levels and the rest, including South Carolina, reported only sporadic cases, the lowest level, according to the CDC’s FluView report.
“The amount of influenza-like illnesses increased tremendously in the third week of November,” said Dr. Ketty Gonzalez, director of the East Central Health District based in Augusta.
The increased activity comes as Richmond County Health Department returns to elementary schools to give about 1,400 kids a second dose of influenza vaccine, said Carol Bryan, county nurse manager. In children 9 years old and younger who have never had a flu shot, it takes two doses to get an adequate response, she said. Once those doses are administered, the Richmond County will have immunized more than 4,300 school kids, Bryant said.
Getting kids vaccinated is important, not only to protect them but to help prevent the spread of flu because kids are especially good at that, Gonzalez said.
“Not only are they protecting themselves but they protect their families,” she said. “Kids like to touch their noses and mouths and touch things. They are not good at washing their hands. They are a good vector, if you will, of the virus. They spread it.”
So far, South Carolina has not seen the kind of activity Georgia has, said Jim Beasley, a spokesman for the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.
“We’re still pretty early in the game as far as South Carolina is concerned,” he said. While flu is very unpredictable, “we normally do not see our majority of cases until after the start of the new year,” Beasley said. “Usually we don’t peak until around February in South Carolina in a typical flu season.”
Georgia could also be benefitting from its surveillance network - the state has 77 providers reporting influenza-like illness cases while South Carolina has 44 reporting providers, 19 of whom turned in reports in the latest flu surveillance. South Carolina has already had one death related to flu, however, which was an elderly woman in the Midlands area, Beasley said. Georgia has seen 18 hospitalizations related to flu, including five more in the latest report,  but so far no deaths, according to the Georgia Division of Public Health. Many of the confirmed Georgia cases are due to influenza B, according to state and CDC reports.
Reach Tom Corwin at (706) 823-3213
or tom.corwin@augustachronicle.com.

Event planned


Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver and East Central Health District Director Ketty Gonzalez will visit Warren Road Elementary School on Thursday as part of an effort to help get kids vaccinated against the flu.

Copenhaver will deliver a proclamation declaring Dec. 5-12 as Augusta Influenza Immunization Awareness Week, which coincides with a national effort by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to highlight next week as an flu immunization awareness week.


The Richmond County Health Department is offering flu shots for those that want them. The main clinic at 950 Laney-Walker Boulevard is offering shots from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The South Augusta clinic at 2420 Windsor Spring Road is offering shots Monday through Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., on Thursday from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. The shots are $25 and the nasal mist vaccine is $35. Medicare and Medicaid provide coverage for the vaccine but patients should bring those cards with them.

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soldout
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soldout 11/30/10 - 06:26 pm
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If you check out

If you check out drtenpenny.com you will see how ineffective flu shots are. You have an pretty ineffective shot, the danger of side effects and much easier ways to prevent the flu so for me there is no reason to take one or for a child to take one. There are very ineffective for the elderly also. Everyone needs to do their own research before you spend the money and take the risk. If you take it at least be informed about what you are putting in your body. Some doctors believe the flu is a natural process to detox the body and reduce cancer risk. In other words you won't get the flu unless you need to have it. Flu is brought on as we head inside due to cooler weather, perspire less and eat more sweets so maybe we need to call it "sugar season" instead of flu season.

msitua
113
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msitua 11/30/10 - 08:33 pm
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What a disappointment the

What a disappointment the mayor is. I thought he was intelligent.(NOT).
Stop calling them immunizations. They do not make one immune. call them shots if you will.

msitua
113
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msitua 12/01/10 - 02:59 pm
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new studies everyday stating

new studies everyday stating the flu shot simply does not work

Chillen
17
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Chillen 12/01/10 - 03:03 pm
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I've gotten a flu shot every

I've gotten a flu shot every year for 12 years. Haven't had the flu yet even though I've been exposed to it. I think it works. No, I know it works.

soldout
1280
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soldout 12/01/10 - 03:11 pm
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Chillen I am glad that has

Chillen I am glad that has worked out for you. The following information gave me concern years ago. According to Hugh Fudenberg, MD, the world's leading immunogeneticist and 13th most quoted biologist of our times (nearly 850 papers in peer review journals): If an individual has had 5 consecutive flu shots between 1970 and 1980 (the years studied) his/her chances of getting Alzheimer's Disease is 10 times higher than if he/she had one, 2 or no shots. Dr. Fudenberg said it was so and that it was due to mercury and aluminum that is in every flu shot (and most childhood shots). The gradual mercury and aluminum buildup in the brain causes cognitive dysfunction. He has spoke at MCG and related to me in an email that he still believes that research.

Chillen
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Chillen 12/01/10 - 03:46 pm
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soldout. I probably read

soldout. I probably read that somewhere before but I can't remember..........just kidding of course. I'll do some research on that topic. But of course they say that anti-perspirant, soft drinks in aluminum cans, etc cause it also. Truth is, they don't really know for sure.

In fact there is even a test out now that will tell you if you are going to get alzheimers (suggesting it is almost exclusively genetic).

Doctors recommend against the test though...I mean what are you going to do if you are told you will get alzheimers? You can't cure it, so why know? Ignorance is bliss in this case.

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