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Georgia Department of Health: Latest flu numbers show widespread outbreak persists

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Georgia DPH flu numbers show no signs of decline so far this year (Credit:Robert Catanese)

Late Friday, The Georgia Department of Health released their latest influenza data. It shows "widespread" occurrences throughout the Peach State.

Week four tallies include dates Jan. 21-Jan. 27, 2018. In that time frame, there has been 120 hospitalizations due to influenza infection.

This year there has been 51 confirmed deaths related to the flu, including one pediatric case.

Rita Allen is an infection preventionist St. Joseph's/Candler Hospital. Both hospital emergency rooms have seen a 20 percent rise in visits compared to last year at this time.

"We have been seeing higher numbers across the board of influenza type illness, not just in our area but across the state and across the nation," said Allen.

There have been 80 influenza outbreaks reported to the DPH so far this season.

Doctors say the best defense against getting the flu is the vaccination and proper hygiene practices of washing hands frequently.