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Influenza cases on the rise

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A lot more masks are showing up in the Emergency Department at Doctors Hospital these days.

Lekia Lanham (left) waited inside the emergency room at Doctors Hospital on Monday. Both A and B strains of influenza have popped up across the area.   Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Lekia Lanham (left) waited inside the emergency room at Doctors Hospital on Monday. Both A and B strains of influenza have popped up across the area.

The hospital offers masks to those who appear to have a respiratory illness, and business is booming, said Dr. Mark Newton, the medical director for the department.

After a slow start to the month, there have been a lot more influenza, both A and B strains, and respiratory syncytial virus infections that typically pop up in children at this time of year, he said.

"We're seeing a variety of respiratory infections," Newton said.

Typically busy weekends for the department have been compounded by the holidays, when doctors' offices and other providers aren't open. Both Christmas Day and the day after were "incredibly busy," Newton said:

"We anticipate this coming weekend will be busy. And a lot of it is respiratory illnesses."

The Emergency Department at Medical College of Georgia Children's Medical Center has seen a few cases of flu but not a big volume so far, said Dr. James Wilde, a professor of emergency medicine and pediatrics.

"It doesn't feel like flu season yet, at least in terms of what our volume in the (department) looks like," he said.

All of MCG's positive cases have been influenza B, which was showing up early in the season nationally and statewide, although more cases of influenza A H3N2 have been recorded lately across the nation, Wilde said.

"That's important because H3N2 subtype tends to be more severe than either the (influenza A) H1N1 or the flu type B," he said.

After Georgia led the way in flu this year, some other states are starting to catch up Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi were all listed as having a high level of flulike illnesses for the week ending Dec. 18 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Georgia has had 61 people hospitalized for flu this season, including seven in the past report, and four deaths from flu, according to the Georgia Division of Public Health. The deaths were women ages 37 to 80, and three had underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of complications, spokeswoman Ravae Graham said.

South Carolina, which is listed as having a regional level of flu activity, the second-highest, has had 42 hospitalizations so far, including 13 in the latest report, and three deaths, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

The CDC is recommending that everyone older than 6 months receive flu vaccine. Of the 89 virus isolates the agency has typed, the strains match those in this year's vaccine.

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Batman
50
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Batman 12/27/10 - 03:19 pm
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It seems like a good

It seems like a good preventable measure for a hospital. I saw someone wearing one at the post office not long a go. It's getting spooky! I guess Howard Hughes, and Michael Jackson knew best. LOL

ozarkalien
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ozarkalien 12/27/10 - 04:55 pm
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Yes just what the emergency

Yes just what the emergency rooms where designed for people with sore throats,cold and flu. Tell me again why we don' t need to have a health care bill and again why we don't make people have health insurance just like car insurance so I don't have to pay for your health cost. This is the craziest thing. I don't want my government to be between me and my doctor but I don't mind the insurance company getting between me and my health. The bill might not be perfect but at least it is a start and better then sitting on your thumbs like the republicans have done the past forever.

thewayitis
15
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thewayitis 12/27/10 - 05:53 pm
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Ignorant and wasteful to bog

Ignorant and wasteful to bog down the ER with a bunch of viral illnesses that people with a half an ounce of responsibility could treat themselves at home. Hey, lets bring the whole clan down to the ER and make it a day! We can text on our cell phones and watch TV while we are waiting and walk out with some free tylenol!

soldout
1287
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soldout 12/28/10 - 09:09 am
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It isn't flu season but it is

It isn't flu season but it is sugar season which is the cause. All these viruses were around in July but you got more vit D, sweated more and ate less sugar. Now we are inside and eating more comfort food and the troubles come. NAET is an easy fix for this flu. Also lots of vit C will help and plenty of liquids. Parsley tea is good but flu is a natural process the body uses to de-tox itself from all the junk you have taken in. I would stop all sweets, meat, and dairy until you feel better and give the body a chance to de-tox. If you take a vaccination that keeps your body from being able to detox then you may have something more serious down the road. Your body decided it needed to have the flu and it has little to do with a virus although it will be present if you get checked but the healthy folks without the flu are all exposed to it too. Sugar weakens the immune system so that is why it is "sugar season" and not flu season.

Chillen
17
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Chillen 12/28/10 - 11:27 am
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There's definitely some nasty

There's definitely some nasty bugs going around. My older, very fit, very healthy teen has been really sick for 6 days now.

ozarkalien
0
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ozarkalien 12/28/10 - 03:39 pm
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soldout; You are telling me

soldout; You are telling me that my body decided it needed the flu and it isn't caused by a virus. So it is around more in the winter because we eat more sugar and we sweat more in the summer to prevent it.. It isn't because we are inside closed areas and people are in closer contact and perhaps with children in school in close contact and then come home. I do think you hit on a couple of good points about poor diet but really the rest of this is pure nonsense. To say the "flu is a natural process the body uses to de-tox itself from all the junk" nonsense!

soldout
1287
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soldout 12/28/10 - 06:00 pm
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ozark I have studied this as

ozark I have studied this as a hobby for 40 years or so and based on that those are the conclusions I reached. I agree you have more close contact which may be a factor but it is very hard to make a healthy person sick as their immune system is so strong. Let them hit the sugar for a few days and they can get sick. Some doctors have stated that cancer may be caused by our not allowing the body to detox and clear things out. (thats why fasting is so good) A toxic person will just move from one health problem to the next, all with different names but basically the same problem. The virus is there when you are sick but not the basic cause. There is a firetruck at every wreck but no one says that is the cause. People fight high cholesterol while it is actually keeping them alive and is never the problem. It is the firetruck at the wreck.

msitua
138
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msitua 12/28/10 - 10:26 pm
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Amazing how they can get such

Amazing how they can get such an accurate flu count when they cannot seem to get a recent accurate count of children with autism. The 1 in 110 nationwide is from 8 year olds in 2006. Shows what the health community considers more important.

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