Last year’s flu season proved to be one of the worst in almost a decade placing communities are on high alert. Hospital emergency rooms (ER) were inundated and handled the influx of patients by adding extra staff and resources.
The Georgia Hospital Association (GHA) and the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) encourage patients to call their health care providers if they are concerned about an illness and to carefully assess symptoms. Individuals who think they may have the flu should follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for when to go to the hospital. As stated on the CDC website, symptoms in adults that warrant an emergency room visit include trouble breathing, chest pain, and persistent vomiting. Those who do not have the flu, but go to the ER, risk catching it from those who do. However, anyone who is concerned about a serious or life-threatening illness should go to the ER.
Precautionary measures such as frequent hand-washing and covering coughs can help stop the spread of flu.
GHA is working closely with state agencies and hospitals to prepare for the upcoming flu season.