Augusta family tests positive for flu; swine flu test ordered

By: Chris Thomas Email
By: Chris Thomas Email

News 12 First at Five, April 29, 2009

AUGUSTA, Ga.---MCG Health reports a case of the flu. Samples are now on the way to the Centers for Disease Control to determine if it's possibly swine flu.

One Augusta family is no doubt on pins and needles after a visit to MCG Health. They learned their three children have the flu.

If confirmed, this would be the first case of swine flu in Georgia.

MCG Health's emergency room is buzzing over fears of a swine flu outbreak.

"I was here all weekend," said registered nurse Shelly Forrest. "I really didn't see a lot cases of flu, but today we're seeing a lot more patients coming in."

This comes after one family walked into the emergency room and left with news that their three children have the flu.

"It's not the flu season anymore," said Forrest. "That's why we're seeing this as kind of odd."

She says it doesn't take a rocket scientist to diagnose the uptick in traffic.

"I think it's more of a precautionary thing," said Forrest. "Even though parents realize that this could be just a cold they're just concerned with all the hype that's going on with all the swine flu."

If you find yourself in the waiting room with flu like symptoms, you'll be provided with a mask.

"We don't want you think we're just trying to single you out by putting masks on," said Forrest. "It's really for the health care workers and for the family's in the waiting room. It's for everybody's protection."

"We have confirmed flu in Augusta," said Dr. Wilde. "That in and of itself is not necessarily cause for alarm. Until we get more information back from the CDC we can't jump to that conclusion."

In the meantime, doctors and nurses say there's no cause to rush to the ER.

"No," said Forrest. "It is scary, but basically just stay home and treat your symptoms and wash your hands."

Those flu results have been sent to the CDC in Atlanta. It could take 4 to 7 days before any information is available. Doctors say flu season runs from December to March. In rare cases it spills over into April. This could be a late case.


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