Second Flu Death Reported In Georgia This Season

Dec 13, 2018

Another person has died after contracting influenza this season, the Georgia Department of Public Health says.

Both people who died this flu season were in the 65 years and older category, which is an age group considered at high risk for complications and bears the greatest burden of severe flu disease.

RELATED: Officials Encourage Flu Shots After Record-Breaking, Deadly Season

Last year, more than 900,000 people across the country were hospitalized with the flu, and 80,000 people died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Georgia, 154 died of flu-related illness during the 2017-18 season.

Of those 154 deaths, five were people under the age of 18. People over the age of 65 made up the majority of the other deaths.

A comparison of this influenza season to previous seasons.
Credit Georgia Department of Public Health

The Ga. DPH numbers for Week 48 show the state has high flu activity. These numbers represent cases from Nov. 26 through Dec. 2.

By the end of Week 49 in 2017, no one in Georgia had died of influenza-related illness and activity was in the moderate category.

State Influenza Surveillance Coordinator Audrey Kunkes previously told GPB News the numbers they have are only those reported by health care providers from people who went to a doctor and had a positive influenza test.

Many others may have become sick or died from flu-related illness, she said.

The best way to prevent influenza is with a vaccine, Kunkes said. Every healthy person over the age of 6 months is encourgaed to get a flu shot. 

A “high dose vaccine” containing four times the amount of antigen as a regular flu shot is available only for people in the 65 and up high risk group.