Flu season came early in parts of the United States: This time last year, flu cases were lower in Atlanta than they are now, according to data on Google's Flu Trends. And while a slight decrease in new cases has occrred, the level is still considered intense, well above high, in metro Atlanta. (Alpharetta-Milton-specific data is not available on Flu Trends.)
Overall in Georgia, activity is considered intense now, while it was considered moderate at this time in 2011, according to Flu Trends.
Fulton County Health Services continues to recommend influenza vaccination for people who have not yet been vaccinated this season and antiviral treatment as early as possible for people who get sick and are at high risk of flu complications.
If you're considering getting a flu shot, here are some places in Alpharetta-Milton Patch that offer the vaccine (besides your own doctor, of course):
- North Fulton Regional Health Center - 3155 Royal Drive, Alpharetta, 404-332-1834. Vaccines are available from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays through the Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness.
- Publix Pharmacy-Birmingham Rd.
- Walgreens-S. Main St.
- Costco Pharmacy
According to this week's CDC Flu activity report, influenza levels are on the increase across the country.
Five states – Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee – are reporting flu rates not normally seen until January, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The flu season normally peaks in January and February.
Holiday travel and more time spent indoors due to soggy weather will contribute to the spread of the flu virus, so now is the time to get vaccinated.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers the following information: