AUGUSTA, GA. (WFXG) -As many as 80,000 Americans die after contracting the flu each year. Federal health officials say nearly every state is dealing with the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its latest flu activity report on November 23, 2019. Georgia is on the list as one of the top states contracting the virus.
The CDC found the flu spread significantly in all but seven states. The South and portions of the Pacific Coast have been hit the hardest. Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Puerto Rico are seeing the highest level of flu activity. That information has locals like Ralph Nichols doing everything possible to protect themselves and others.
“It’s very important to get your flu shot. I’ve gotten one for the last 20 years," he says.
“This year, they have a specific flu shot for those over the age of 50 because of the severity of the flu they’re expecting. I get the flu shot every year and encourage all of my family to do it just for the protection of not only myself but everybody that I come into contact with,” Nichols says.
The flu season got off to an early start this year and is already considered deadly. The CDC says at least five children have died so far from the flu.
“Especially during the flu season, you’ve got to wash your hands. The number one universal precaution, wash your hands. It’s amazing how many people do not. Just go into a fast-food restaurant and you’ll see some ugly stuff.”
According to the CDC, you can lower the risk of contracting the dangerous illness by washing your hands often, staying away from sick people and getting the flu shot.