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Flu Season in Georgia
Georgia health officials and the CDC are reporting a growing flu season in the United States. At the end of 2012, Georgia was one of 29 states reporting high levels of flu activity, an increase from previous weeks. This is the earliest regular flu season in almost a decade, and features a strain of influenza generally associated with more severe flu seasons.
Influenza is a contagious, respiratory illness caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. According to the CDC, the best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year. Flu vaccines work by helping the body develop antibodies to protect against infections caused by the influenza virus.
Individuals at high risk for developing the flu include children younger than five, adults 65 years of age and older, pregnant women, and people who have medical conditions such as asthma, neurological conditions, lung disease, heart disease, and several other conditions.
For more information, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Flu.gov has several tips about flu symptoms, prevention, and preparedness, including a Flu Vaccine Finder.
The CDC is also publishing weekly flu activity, and Flu Near You is a site created for Americans to share information about the 2012-2013 flu season. The site provides local and national information based on self-reporting by registered participants.
About the Author
Sunita Kapahi writes about education, public safety, social services, and transportation for GeorgiaGov. She is an Atlanta native and a graduate of Georgia State University.