Georgia’s flu epidemic showing signs of slowing down 

7:01 p.m Friday, March 2, 2018 AJC Homepage

Flu activity remains widespread, but there are signs this severe flu season is finally slowing down in Georgia and across the country. 

As of the week ending Feb. 24, the Georgia Department of Public Health said 6.5 percent of patient visits to doctors were for the flu, down from 11.9 percent of patient visits the week before.  

The number of new flu-related hospitalizations reported added up to 49, down from 91 during the previous week. 

The flu season may have peaked according to the Centers Disease Control and Prevention, but expect several more weeks of the influenza. 

AP Photo/David Goldman
Dr. Hany Atallah stands inside a mobile emergency room set up outside Grady Memorial Hospital to help handle the ever-growing number of flu cases in Atlanta, Monday, Jan. 29, 2018. The trailer, called Carolinas MED-1, has 14 beds and will sit outside the hospital's main emergency room for 30 days to alleviate wait times and bed shortages. It opens to patients the next day.

Georgia’s death toll from flu this season now stands at 118, a figure which includes four children, according to the latest report. 

Last week, Dr. James Steinberg, chief medical officer at Emory University Hospital Midtown in Atlanta, called this flu season,“the worst season I can recall.” He’s been the chief medical officer there for 12 years and an infectious disease specialist for the past three decades.

“Worst season in terms of burden of illness, overall volume and the total volume causing major stress in the emergency room, in-patient services and in critical care units,” he said. 

For the first time, Grady Memorial Hospital set up a mobile emergency department outside to help handle flu patients.

American-Statesman Staff
This 2011 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention photo shows the H3N2 strain of the flu, which is associated with more severe illness. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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