MOULTRIE, Ga. – As the flu continues to spread throughout the U.S., Colquitt Regional has seen a consistent increase in confirmed flu cases in the past weeks.
In just the first three weeks of December, the Emergency Department treated 178 patients who tested positive for the flu, compared to 138 cases for the whole month of November.
Of those diagnosed in November and December, “Type B” has been most prevalent with 219 cases. There were also 56 patients who had “Type A&B” flu, along with 41 cases of “Type A” flu.
The ages of those who tested positive for flu were largely young children and adolescents, with 210 cases in those 17 years old or younger and only 106 positive tests in those 18 years and older.
These numbers do not include outpatient clinics, but there has been confirmed increased flu activity across Sterling Physician Group clinics as well.
“As people gather with family and friends during the holiday season, be mindful of proper flu precautions to help decrease the chances of becoming ill,” said Jim Matney, Colquitt Regional president and CEO. “We are continuing to stay proactive within the hospital and clinics to cut down on the spread of the flu and we are urging members of the community to do the same.”
According to the CDC, all regions of the country are seeing elevated levels of flu-like illness. There have been approximately 3.7 million flu illnesses, 32,000 hospitalizations, and 1,800 deaths from flu.
Although the flu season is in full swing, health professionals still suggest getting the flu vaccine for anyone six months of age or older. It is especially encouraged for children, those 65 years of age and older, and women who are pregnant.
“We have recently seen an influx of flu cases at The Kirk Clinic,” said Justin Baker, MD. “We are only halfway through flu season so it is important to remain cautious. The best way to protect yourself and loved ones from the flu and flu-related complications is by getting the vaccine.”
To help stay vigilant in the fight against the flu, the CDC suggests several ways to prevent the flu in addition to getting the vaccine: avoid close contact with those who are sick or may be sick, stay home if possible if symptoms present, cover mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and wash hands frequently to help decrease spread of flu germs.
Colquitt Regional is a 99-bed teaching hospital located in Moultrie, Georgia. With over 90 providers, more than 30 specialties and 1,350 employees, Colquitt Regional is committed to providing exceptional healthcare that exceeds expectations for Colquitt County and the surrounding areas.