Published Date: 2012-11-17 03:12:59
Subject: PRO/EDR> Influenza (105): USA (GA)
Archive Number: 20121117.1413089
INFLUENZA (105): USA (GEORGIA)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Thu 15 Nov 2012
Source: Fox31online [edited]
The flu season usually goes into high gear in January, but doctors here in south west Georgia say they're swamped with cases coming into the emergency room. Medical professionals in Phoebe say they have seen more than 1000 patients in the last 5 days. That's a 25 to 30 per cent increase from their regular volume. On Wednesday [14 Nov 2012] alone, 40 people tested positive for influenza virus infection.
Doctors have treated people of all ages for the virus infection. Anyone who hasn't gotten vaccinated is urged to do so.
"If people react to it early and say, 'I need to go get my flu shot. I need to be preventative with this,' we could nip this in the bud," said Dr Joel Holcombe, at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital. "Many people that we've seen in the last week have been positive in our flu testing. It's a big worry whether we're going to have an even worse season [than last year, 2011?] or not." Dr Holcombe said he has never seen this many cases so early in the flu season.
[byline: Jessica Fairley]
ProMED-mail from HealthMap alerts
[Is this an early warning of an impending outbreak of influenza virus infection in the Northern hemisphere? The most recent World Health Organization (WHO) Global Update concluded that there was no evidence of this as yet: see ProMED-mail post: Influenza (104): WHO update 20121109.1402543.
Likewise, the current EuroFlu Bulletin (http://www.euroflu.org/cgi-files/bulletin_v2.cgi) states that: "Influenza activity in the WHO European Region remains at a pre-season level, with several countries reporting sporadic detections of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09, A(H3N2), and type-B viruses. The influenza positivity rate is relatively stable, as is usual for this time of the year. The number of hospitalizations due to severe acute respiratory infection remains stable, with none of the cases reported this week due to influenza."
The city of Phoebe can be located in the map of Georgia at http://www.mapsofworld.com/usa/states/georgia/city-map.html. - Mod.CP
A HealthMap/ProMED-mail map can be accessed at: http://healthmap.org/r/1AYh.]