As flu cases soar in Georgia, the CDC urges everyone to get the flu shot

Published: Oct. 18, 2022 at 5:53 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Flu cases usually begin to ramp up in November, but as doctors’ offices and hospitals fill up with flu patients, the CDC is urging everyone to get the jab now.

Patricia Rieter and her husband Richard got their flu shot a little more than a week ago. Richard, in his 70s, worries about getting so sick that he ends up in the hospital.

“If I do get sick, I don’t want to get as sick or life-threatening as the flu could be,” said Richard.

Patricia works with the general public, so she wants to be extra careful.

“We don’t want to get the flu and of course, I don’t want to give the flu to someone else, she said.

Currently, the CDC puts Georgia in the red category for flu cases. Georgia is second only to Washington, D.C. The newest numbers from DPH show more than 300 flu cases reported in the state during week 39, which ended at the beginning of October.

CVS nurse practitioner Evelyn Larson is seeing a flood of families coming in for a flu test with the results coming back positive. She recommends getting the shot now, so you’re fully protected by Halloween and Thanksgiving, even if you think you’re super healthy.

“A lot of times you might have a good immune system, but you didn’t get a good night’s sleep for a few days, or you’re stressed out, and then that minor illness can really, really hit you,” said Evelyn Larson, a nurse practitioner at CVS Pharmacy.

New numbers from the CDC also show racial disparities with the flu. Black, AI/AN, and Hispanic adults are hospitalized with flu at much higher rates than white adults because vaccination rates among people of color trend much lower.

“I think there’s still some distrust with certain communities, so I think it’s really important to have community centers where people can serve you,” said Larson.

Flu shots are available at both CVS and Walgreens, as well as many other local pharmacies. Some supermarkets like Kroger are also offering the flu vaccine. You can also contact your healthcare provider.