CDC to release new numbers on flu outbreak

By Web Staff

    Atlanta, Ga. (WGCL) -- The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to release an update Friday, detailing the latest numbers on the spread of this season's flu virus.

The head of the influenza division will give an update on how the virus is spreading and what types of trends they're noticing.

A week ago, the CDC said flu cases were on the rise nationally. 37 people have died in Georgia since the flu season began and health officials expect that number to rise in the coming weeks. They say we're still about two to three weeks away from the peak of the season.

People CBS46 talked with who work in the medically industry say the flu isn't going anywhere, anytime soon.

Dr. Ben Lefkove, an emergency room physician, tells CBS46 News that 20 percent of his medical group has been sick with flu-like symptoms. He also says his boss called in sick to work for the first time in 12 years.

When health professionals get sick, that causes a domino effect. Patients have to wait longer to be seen and for their test results to come back. CBS46 asked Dr. Lefkove what precautions people can take to avoid getting the illness.

"I do good handwashing, washing hands when I go in and out of any room," said Dr. Lefkove. "Try not to touch your mouth, face or any food while at work. And I advise others, the patients, when they're leaving, make sure they do really good hand-washing. If you have really young relatives, elderly relatives, inform relatives, people with immuno-compromise, that they should keep away from those family members who have the flu."

Health officials also advise parents if they have a sick child and a healthy child, do not bring the healthy child to the hospital or doctor's office waiting room.

As the virus continues to wreak havoc, frustrated Florida nurse Katherine Lockler recorded a YouTube video warning people to avoid the emergency room, if possible.

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