Flu season

Shibreka Walker, CMA, administers a flu shot after a recent increase in flu cases at Colquitt Regional Medical Center and Sterling Physician Group clinics.

MOULTRIE, Ga. – In the past two weeks, Colquitt Regional Medical Center has seen a steady increase in patients testing positive for the flu.

In the last week of September, the Emergency Department treated 19 confirmed cases of the flu, more than doubling the number of positive flu tests the week prior, according to a press release from the hospital. Of the 19 patients treated, 12 were diagnosed with “Type B” flu, five had both “Type A & B,” and two patients had “Type A.” Nine out of the 19 patients treated were four years old or younger.

The cases confirmed at Colquitt Regional do not include any flu tests taken at outpatient clinics, but Sterling Physician Group has seen a rise in numbers as well, the press release said.

“We cannot stress enough the importance of receiving your flu vaccination,” said Jim Matney, Colquitt Regional President and CEO. “Proper precautions are being taken across our facilities to help decrease the spread of the flu and the public should also take preventative measures.”

In addition to receiving the flu vaccination, the CDC recommends several other tips to remain healthy during the flu season. Germs can be prevented by practicing good hand hygiene, staying home when symptoms present themselves, avoiding people who are sick, and covering your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing.

According to the CDC, everyone six months and older should receive a flu shot at the beginning of the season. While the vaccination does not prove to immunize someone completely, studies have shown it can reduce the severity of the illness and reduce illness length.

“It is vital for patients to be proactive so they can stay healthy in the upcoming flu season,” said Gail Sparkman, BSN, RN, CIC, Colquitt Regional Infection Prevention Manager. “If you or a loved one is presenting flu-like symptoms, please visit your physician immediately and, if possible, remain out of public places to avoid transmission of flu germs.”

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