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Flu cases already at University

Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013 6:05 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013 2:58 PM
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The flu season is starting early in Augusta with cases already showing up at University Hospital, an official said Tuesday.

University has had 10 lab-confirmed cases of influenza already and two were serious enough to send patients to the Intensive Care Unit, said Dr. Craig Smith, medical director for infectious disease at University. The flu season doesn’t officially start until Sept. 29, he said. The Georgia Department of Public Health just began its influenza surveillance this week and won’t have its first report until next week, spokeswoman Nancy Nydam said. She checked last week and there were no cases then.

“To hit this early and this hard is unusual,” Smith said. “Why it is unusual hasn’t been worked out. Usually, you don’t see your first bump (in cases) until December.”

Some of the samples were sent to the state lab for typing but it will take a while to get that information back, he said. People started showing up with flu-like symptoms about two weeks ago, with fever, body aches and headaches, he said. The biggest concern now is many have not yet been vaccinated against the virus, Smith said. University was able to vaccinate some of its front-line employee with the small amount of vaccine it had in and is looking now for a larger shipment soon to do all of the rest, he said.

“It’s ahead of our ordering, it is ahead of season. It’s caught us off-guard, too,” Smith said.

In the rest of the country, flu activity is still low with .9 percent of patients reporting influenza-like illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s FluView weekly surveillance. From Aug. 25 to Sept, 14 there were only a total of 290 positive tests, according to CDC data. Georgia Regents Medical Center has not seen a positive flu test yet, spokeswoman Denise Parrish said,

Now is the time to be prepared, Smith said.

“The biggest thing is to know that it is definitely in the community,” he said. Get vaccinated now if possible, Smith said. Remember to cover coughs and sneezes and always practice good hand hygiene and wash hands frequently, he said.

Flu shot clinics

Columbia County Health Department will hold community flu shot clinics Wednesday and Thursday at various Walmarts. Shots will be given from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Walmart Supercenter at 260 Bobby Jones Expressway and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Grovetown Walmart at 5010 Steiner Way. The Grovetown Walmart will also hold a flu shot clinic from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursday. Shots are $25, and $45 for the high-dose vaccine for those 65 and over, and $35 for FluMist. The vaccine is free for those with Medicare, Medicaid, PeachCare and for some with UnitedHealthcare, Cigna, Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance. Bring proof of insurance.

Child and adult flu vaccine are available at Richmond County Health Department, 950 Laney-Walker Blvd., Monday-Friday, 8-11 a.m. and 12:30-3:30 p.m.. No appointment is neccessary. For more information, call (706) 721-5800.

Comments (9) Add comment
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SRD
441
Points
SRD 09/24/13 - 06:34 pm
4
0
Get your shot

I didn't get one last year and ended up with this. I really sick for about 2 weeks but it took me nearly 2 months to get over it. This is a really bad strain and if you don't get the vaccine you may not only get it but spread it around.

dichotomy
33552
Points
dichotomy 09/24/13 - 07:49 pm
3
0
The wife and I got our about

The wife and I got our about 10 days ago thanks to Rite Aid calling us and letting us know that had the vaccine on hand. Glad we went straight up there and got it now.

specsta
6518
Points
specsta 09/25/13 - 12:44 am
3
0
Wash Your Hands.

Frequent hand-washing, covering coughs and sneezes and not rubbing or touching your eyes will go a long way in preventing illness. Also, probiotics are excellent in building immunity.

The problem is that a lot of folks are just nasty. They hardly wash their hands, rub their mucus-dripping noses and proceed to touch things that other people have to touch. They cough and sneeze right in front of you and don't even attempt to cover their mouths.

Stores need to sanitize key pads at terminals used for shopper purchases. Folks need to pay attention when grabbing door handles, pushing elevator buttons and using items in common areas at work.

Most importantly, STAY HOME IF YOU ARE SICK. Schools and offices don't need the germ exposure. Companies need to be more accommodating for workers who are sick.

soapy_725
43686
Points
soapy_725 09/25/13 - 06:23 am
0
0
List the FLU on the stock market. A sure profit maker. $$$$$$
Unpublished

List the FLU on the stock market. A sure profit maker. $$$$$$

soapy_725
43686
Points
soapy_725 09/25/13 - 06:24 am
0
0
Major profit makers. Sickness, hunger and religion.
Unpublished

Major profit makers. Sickness, hunger and religion.

soldout
1280
Points
soldout 09/25/13 - 08:00 am
1
3
not too effective

The shots don't do much. Your body doesn't tend to have the flu unless it is needed to detox. A healthy person won't have a tendency to get the flu. There is a electrical system that controls your immune system and it is the key to health ( per "Cross Currents" by Dr. Becker ). Although the rate of elderly taking flu shots has went from around the 20% range to the 70% range the rate if flu cases per 1000 has hardly changed. The CDC shows flu deaths at a much smaller number than the news media will report which is heavily funded by medical advertising. Check out http://drtenpenny.com/ if you want to hear another view. The effectiveness of flu shots may be only slightly ahead of screen doors in submarines. Take if you want to but you may be making that choice because of advertising rather than research.

Truth Matters
6986
Points
Truth Matters 09/25/13 - 09:37 am
0
0
@specsta...good safety

@specsta...good safety tips.

Christmas came early to our house on yesterday. We ordered one of the automatically opening trash bins for the kitchen. It uses 4-D batteries. Works great for our elderly relative living with us who can't balance well enough to use the kind with the foot presser release.

I can't wait until the grand discovers it!

thetruth1
35
Points
thetruth1 09/25/13 - 09:39 pm
0
0
Flu

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm#side-effects

See the above link for information about influenza. As always, refer to reputable websites and discuss with your doctor before making health care decisions. There is a tremendous amount of misinformation out there...

soldout
1280
Points
soldout 09/25/13 - 11:21 pm
0
0
a little more research

A new study in The Lancet Infectious Diseases reveals that the flu vaccine prevents lab confirmed type A or type B influenza in only 1.5 out of every 100 vaccinated adults … but the media is reporting this to mean "60 percent effective."

It is estimated that, annually, only about 2.7% of adults get type A or type B influenza in the first place. The study showed that the use of flu vaccines appear to drop this down to about 1.2%. This is a roughly 60% drop, but that ignores the fact that the vaccine has no protective health benefit for 97.5% of adults.

Little Lamb
46405
Points
Little Lamb 09/26/13 - 08:30 am
0
0
Interesting

SoldOut has some good points up there. Disease statistics are difficult to draw firm conclusions from.

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