Health officials: CSRA experiencing worst flu season in decade - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Health officials: CSRA experiencing worst flu season in decade

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AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) -

The CSRA is experiencing the worst flu season in a decade, according to the Medical Director of GRU's Family Medical Clinic Janis Coffin.

The Georgia Department of Public Health says two people have died from the flu in Georgia.

South Carolina health officials say 22 people have died; two of those deaths were in Aiken County.

Teresa Welch takes care of flu patients at Georgia Health Sciences. But this week she missed three days of work because she came down with the flu.

"Everything hurts, your hair your eyes, your nose, everything hurts, my eyelids were hurting it hurt to turn over in the bed," Welch, said.

Welch and tens of thousands of other Americans have been hit hard by the flu strain called H3N2.

Welch described how she felt when she had the flu, "Death warmed over, it was real bad. I had chills and fever, a bad cough, diarrhea, stomach ache, it was horrible."

Fox54's Mark Barber asked Coffin, "What's the best way for people to protect themselves?" Coffin said, "The best way to protect yourself is to number one stay at home. If you are not sick get vaccinated."

Coffin says the vaccine has been very successful. She also says proper hygiene, such as washing your hands is one of the best ways to fight the worst flu outbreak in 10 years.

The bug typically lasts 3 to 10 days; Welch beat the flu after 5 difficult days.

"I've never had the flu in 48 years, never had the flu," said Welch.

Coffin says the CSRA had a very early flu season and the peak months were November and December.

So far, they haven't seen as much flu activity in January.

For more information on how you can fight the flu, check out these tips from the CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/preventing.htm

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