2018-01-17 / Front Page

Flu cases escalating!

With reports of escalating flu cases across Southwest Georgia, everyone who has not already done so is strongly urged to get their flu shots as quickly as possible!

According to media reports, several hospitals are filled to capacity due to flu patients and are enforcing visitor restrictions.

Reports from nearby Dothan, Ala., indicated shoppers were being urged to stay away from malls and churches were even cautioning congregations to the flu danger.

LifeBrite Hospital administrator Ginger Cushing told the News Tuesday that while the clinics have been busy with flu patients, there are still some open beds at the hospital.

School Superintendent Bronwyn Ragan-Martin told the News that while there has been a steady number of absentees due to the flu, the local schools had seen much worse flu seasons.

“Our school personnel are strongly stressing measures to the students to prevent catching the flu,” she stated.

The Georgia Department of Public Health has reported the flu has caused more than five deaths.

The Georgia Department of Public Health’s Southwest Public Health District is reporting that, along with widespread flu activity in Southwest Georgia, the norovirus, or stomach flu, is also going around in Southwest Georgia.

Unlike seasonal influenza, there is no vaccine to prevent norovirus.

The following are ways to best reduce chances of getting the norovirus:

• Avoid people who are sick if possible.

• Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

• Wash fruits and vegetables, and cook oysters and other shellfish thoroughly.

• People with norovirus illness should not prepare food for others.

• After throwing up or diarrhea, immediately clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces using a bleach-based household cleaners.

• Immediately remove and wash clothing or linens that may be contaminated.

• People who have been sick should remain home for two to three days after symptoms have stopped.

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