A rise in influenza cases hits clinics

Published 6:15 pm Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Flu season has hit Troup County and is in full swing. 

“Toward the end of October, we started seeing a significant number of cases,” said Dr. Robert Martin with Emory at LaGrange. “When we started seeing more than one or two a day, that’s when we knew, OK, flu season is here.” 

Martin said anyone who hasn’t gotten their flu shot yet needs to get one. 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention encourages everyone 6-months-old and older get a flu vaccine each season.

“Mostly all of our cases have been people who have not gotten their flu shot,” Martin said. “The CDC says that, the shot can decrease influenza by 60 percent within a community. The more people who get vaccinated, the more likely that less [cases] will happen.” 

According to its records, all Emory at LaGrange clinics have seen an average of 10 positive cases a week of the influenza virus since the flu season began at the end of October. 

CDC.gov says that flu signs and symptoms usually come on suddenly. 

People who are sick with flu often feel some or all of these symptoms: fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue, vomiting and diarrhea.

“If you think you have the flu, you need to go to the doctor within 48 hours,” Martin said. 

“The antivirals [antibiotics] are most effective if you start taking them within 48 hours of symptoms. You can die from it because one of the most serious complications from it is pneumonia. It can also cause inflammation of the heart or kidney failure.” 

Martin said that in a school setting, the influenza virus can spread rapidly. 

“It’ll spread rapidly through droplet and contact,” Martin said. “Droplet is where somebody is sick, they sneeze or cough or even talk to you. You can get sick from those droplets.”  

To find out where the influenza vaccine is offered, visit Vaccinefinder.org and enter your location.