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Flu hospitalizations in metro Atlanta reach record high

The total number of flu-related hospitalizations in metro Atlanta has now reached a new high at 1,801 during this flu season — and it’s not over yet. 

This figure —1,801 hospitalizations in metro Atlanta — is already higher than any total for a flu season since the Georgia Department of Public Health started using this tracking system in 2009. 

The tally is far more than the totals during recent years and even dwarfs the 2014-2015 season, which was considered a severe flu season, and the number of hospitalizations in metro Atlanta climbed to 1,460 for the entire season ending in May.  

Georgia’s death toll from flu also continued to mount this week, and now stands at 79 dead from the sickness.

The state Department of Public Health on Friday released figures for the week ending February 10, showing that 13 new patients were confirmed dead from flu, one of them a child.

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Health officials are urging people who have not been vaccinated to do so. The request came with greater emphasis when late last week they learned that data showed the flu vaccine this year was somewhat more effective than previously thought.

Nurse Kristy Haynes, right, shows resident nurse Brittany Evans around Carolinas MED-1, a mobile medical facility outside of the Marcus trauma and emergency room at Grady Memorial Hospital, on Monday, Jan. 29, 2018. ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM

SYMPTOMS OF A FLU EMERGENCY

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, emergency warning signs for people to go to the ER include:

Trouble breathing

Chest pain

Persistent vomiting

Flu-like symptoms that improve but return with fever and a worse cough

EVERYONE SHOULD

Cough into the inside of your elbow, not the open air

Get a flu shot

Avoid infected people if possible

Wash hands frequently

 

MORE: Have the flu? Atlanta archbishop advises ill Catholics to skip Mass 

MORE: 8 things you need to know about this year’s really bad flu season   

READ: The agony of ER waits: Flu season is making them worse  

READ: Father of Coweta teen who died of flu asks, “Why?” 

Click this link to check out the wait times: https://hospitals.myajc.com/ 

Ariel Hart contributed to this article. 

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