News & Announcements

The Number of Flu Cases in Southwest Georgia Increases

February 12, 2019 -

The Number of Flu Cases in Southwest Georgia Increases

Albany, Ga. – More people in southwest Georgia are contracting the flu.  During the week ending Feb. 10, the lab at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital confirmed 38 flu cases, by far the highest weekly total so far this flu season.  In fact, the number of positive tests over the last three weeks exceeds the combined total of the previous 17 weeks of the 2018-2019 flu season.

“It is not uncommon to see an increase in flu activity in February.  While flu season can extend well into spring, it often peaks in February.  It is especially important right now for southwest Georgians to try to minimize the spread of the illness by practicing proper hand hygiene, coughing and sneezing into their elbows, seeking treatment at the onset of flu symptoms and avoiding contact with others as much as possible until they are free of fever for at least 24 hours,” said Steven Kitchen, MD, Phoebe Chief Medical Officer.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu activity remains high in Georgia, and cases are increasing throughout our region.  “We have already confirmed 80 flu cases at Phoebe Sumter in February, compared to 60 during the entire month of January,” said Brandi Lunneborg, Phoebe Sumter CEO.  “We want people to know it’s not too late to get a flu shot to protect themselves and their families, and the vaccine remains the best prevention method.”

So far, this flu season has not been as severe as last season.  Last year, flu cases in Georgia spiked throughout the month of January before peaking in early February.  “It’s too early to predict when this flu season will peak.  We simply want people to be aware that flu activity has increased significantly in the last few weeks, and we encourage them to do all they can to avoid the illness,” said Dr. Kitchen.

Flu season visitation restrictions remain in effect at all Phoebe hospitals.  Children under age 18 should not visit the hospital, and patient visitors should be limited to those assisting with the care of the patient.  Learn more about Phoebe’s visitation policy and ways to prevent the flu at