The district said it is working to compile case numbers, but in the meantime it is urging parents to practice “preventive and interventional measureslike washing your hands regularly, coughing or sneezing into your elbow, and keeping students home when they are sick.
This week, the CDC urged people to get their flu shot to protect against a “potentially severe” flu season.
“Based on what we’ve seen in parts of the southern hemisphere, the flu has the potential to hit us hard this year,” William Schaffner, director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, said in the release. CDC.
“On a positive note, we have more preventative behaviors in our toolbox than before the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Schaffner. “We are more used to wearing masks and staying home when sick.”
A 2022 NFID survey shows that only 49% of American adults plan to get the flu shot this season.
The CDC said this was concerning because flu vaccination rates have declined among children and pregnant women since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Continuing racial and ethnic disparities in vaccination rates are also troubling, officials said.
As of October 2021, the Georgian Ministry of Public Health reported 31 flu-associated deaths and 543 hospitalizations in the metropolitan area. There have also been 39 flu outbreaks in Georgia, three of which were reported the week of September 24 of this year.
According to the CDCduring the 2021-2022 flu season, Georgia had the third-highest number of cases in the nation.
CDC projections come shortly after health system and hospital leaders meet with national health officials on September 29 to discuss management of COVID-19 this fall.
The past two winters have seen “major increases in hospitalizations and deaths related to COVID-19”, they said, which has strained healthcare workers and hospitals.
White House conference officials said: “It doesn’t have to be this year if everyone does their part and uses the vital tools we have now, including updated COVID-19 vaccines, vaccines flu and highly effective treatments for COVID-19.”
The CDC advises that flu shots be given by the end of October, but shots can be given any time during flu season, which usually begins when cases start to increase around October, peak between December and February and can last until May. It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to be protective.
The CDC is also advising people to get their flu shot and receive an updated COVID-19 reminder at the same time. The updated booster provides better protection against the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants currently in circulation.
Jodie Guest, epidemiologist at Emory University said one of the reasons there is increased concern about influenza and COVID-19 infections this year is that influenza infections were lower in previous years. When more people masked up and socially distanced, the spread of respiratory infections was lower.
“That’s what makes getting the flu shot so important,” Guest said.
The Georgian Ministry of Public Health says that “the best way to prevent the flu is to get the flu shot every year”, but also recommends washing your hands frequently with soap and water, to avoid touching your eyes with dirty hands and sneeze into a tissue or cough into a sleeve instead of your hands.
Most people six months and older can get the vaccine. HPD said that everyone – especially those most at risk of flu-related complications – should get vaccinated. This includes people 50 and older, those living in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, those with chronic health conditions, people who are pregnant during flu season, and older children. from six months to 18 years old.