Middle Georgia hospital seeing rise in flu patients

Dr. Gary Godlewski, an emergency room physician at Piedmont Macon North, says they've seen an uptick in flu patients in the last week. He says they're seeing more flu patients come in than Covid patients.
Hospital Bed

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — The holiday season is here, but so is flu season.

Michael Hokanson, North Central Health District’s public information officer, says Georgia is currently seeing higher influenza-like illness activity compared to the rest of the country.

“We could see a higher amount of cases this year as compared to last year,” he said. “But this year we’re on track, it seems like it’s going to be a normal flu year, but those things change from week to week.”

Dr. Gary Godlewski, an emergency room physician at Piedmont Macon North, says they’ve seen an uptick in flu patients in the last week. He says they’re seeing more flu patients come in than Covid patients.

Dr. Godlewski recommends you get a flu shot to stay healthy.

“They still ought to get it if they haven’t gotten it by now,” he said.  “I’d wear a mask more now, because we did see a huge decrease last year.”

Hokanson says the flu and Covid-19 have similar symptoms and prevention methods.

In addition to getting vaccinated for both and wearing a mask, there are other ways to stay safe from illnesses this year.

“Making sure if you are ill not to go around people,” he said. “You don’t want to spread anything whether it’s flu or Covid. You don’t want to be the person who gets somebody else sick, and of course monitoring your own health.”

Dr. Godlewski says not everyone with chills, a fever and body aches needs to go the ER. If you have shortness of breath, a productive cough and a fever over 100 degrees, that’s when you should go.

“Otherwise home, Motrin, Tylenol, a lot of fluids,” he said.

Hokanson says if you’re feeling ill, you should get tested. NCHD offers Covid testing at five health department locations and also offers flu testing on a limited basis. He says you should contact your local health department to make sure that’s available.

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