As US Flu Activity Spikes, Georgia Enters ‘High’ Category – The Weather Channel

This CDC map shows the percentage of outpatient visits to health care providers that show an influenza-like illness to measure the level of activity in each state.

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

  • Parts of the U.S. have seen recent spikes in flu activity, according to a weekly CDC report.
  • Georgia is the only state in the “high” activity level.
  • Georgia, California and Massachusetts reported widespread flu activity.

According to a weekly Influenza Surveillance Report by the CDC, parts of the United States have reported elevated flu activity, especially Georgia, the only state in the “high” activity level.

Georgia, along with California and Massachusetts, reported widespread flu activity, while another 31 states reported regional or local flu activity, according to Infection Control Today.

While Georgia stands alone in the “high” category of influenza-like illness, Colorado, Kentucky, Louisiana and Connecticut ranked in the “moderate” category along with Puerto Rico.

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The Georgia Department of Public Health defines influenza-like illness as a fever over 100 degrees Fahrenheit and a cough or sore throat.

“When we look at historic data from last year, it looks like we peaked right around January – end of December, beginning of January,” Georgia emergency room medical director Dr. Thomas Zickgraf told WJBF.com, adding that there’s been a noticeable spike in numbers compared to last month.

Peak flu activity can be seen anytime between December and February, CDC epidemiologist Alicia Budd told HealthDay.

We’ve experienced high activity for the last three weeks,” Audrey Kunkes of the Georgia Department of Public Health told WSB-TV. “Last year was a very difficult influenza season. It’s too early to tell what this season will lead to. It’s tracking similar to what we saw last year.”

Nationwide, 164 million doses of the flu vaccine have been distributed since Nov. 30.

“We know that the vaccine is effective in preventing millions of cases and hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations,” said Budd. “It’s the best tool we have to prevent influenza.”

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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