Georgia Looking at Extreme Flu Season
Influenza season is here, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it has arrived with a vengeance. The CDC’s influenza-like-illness (ILI) surveillance tracks cases of the flu, and it has rated 19 states with a “high” level of flu activity—and one of them is Georgia.
Influenza is a serious illness that is potentially fatal. The CDC estimates that 80,000 Americans died from the flu in 2018, the highest death toll from the virus in 40 years.
The elderly and young children are particularly vulnerable to fatal cases of the flu, and health officials urge that they get vaccinated. CDC statistics show that 80% of children who die from the flu are not vaccinated. The agency says that the vaccine reduces the risk of death from influenza among healthy children by 65%, and for children with a high-risk condition by 50%. There are two available types of the vaccine: the flu shot, which is approved for those 6 months old and older; and a nasal spray, approved for those from 2 to 49 years of age. The flu vaccination is considered safe for most people; however, it is recommended the following groups should consult their healthcare providers before receiving it:
- Those with a severe allergy to chicken eggs.
- Those who have had a severe reaction to the flu vaccine in the past.
- Those who developed Guillain-Barre’ syndrome within six weeks of getting the flu vaccine before.
- Children under the age of 6 years old.
In addition, anyone who has a moderate or severe illness with a fever is advised to wait until symptoms subside before getting the flu vaccine.
Symptoms of Influenza
The CDC lists the following symptoms of the flu, and suggests seeing your doctor if you come down with any of them:
- Fever, or feeling feverish
- Sore throat
- Nasal congestion or runny nose
- Muscle and body aches
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children than adults)
As if being stricken with the flu isn’t bad enough, there also a number of complications associated with the illness, including bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, and dehydration. The flu can also exacerbate chronic medical conditions, like diabetes, asthma, and congestive heart failure.
One of the most serious complications associated with influenza is sepsis. Sepsis is the body’s overreaction to an infection. Normally, a person’s body releases chemicals into its system to fight off an infection. When sepsis occurs, the body releases too much of these chemicals, which can result in tissue damage, organ damage, septic shock, and even death. The people most in danger of contracting sepsis include people with compromised immune systems; people with chronic medical conditions like cancer, kidney disease, lung disease, and diabetes; people over the age of 65; and young children. Sepsis is often referred to as “the silent killer” because its symptoms can be confused with other medical conditions and it is often misdiagnosed. It is recommended that people who have the flu be screened for sepsis as a precaution. If the doctor fails to diagnose sepsis in time, you may have a medical malpractice case.
We put a lot of faith in the physicians who treat us and our families. To find out more about your legal rights and options, contact the experienced Atlanta medical malpractice attorneys at Grant Law Office. Dial (404) 995-3955 or toll-free (866) 249-5513 for a free case evaluation with Wayne and Kimberly Grant, the husband and wife legal team.
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