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Georgia health official says now is the time to get a flu shot; more than 200 hospitalizations, 2 deaths confirmed

Chattanooga Times Free Press - 12/20/2019

Dec. 20--The Georgia Department of Public Health has confirmed more than 200 hospitalizations and two flu-related deaths in the state as flu season ramps up.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there have been at least 2.6 million flu-related illnesses and 1,300 deaths from flu so far this season.

The predominant flu virus that is circulating this year is a B/Victoria strain. The CDC said this particular virus doesn't usually pop up until the end of the flu season in early spring.

B viruses can infect anyone but they generally strike children and young adults more than the elderly.

Kathleen Toomey, the Georgia Department of Public Health commissioner, said in a news release that everyone over the age of six months is recommended to get a flu shot.

"Not just for their own protection, but to protect others around them who may be more vulnerable to the flu and its complications," reads a quote from Toomey in the release. "It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against flu to develop in the body, so now is the time to get a flu shot."

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