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County escapes virulent flu season
The end of the flu season is in sight for the Golden Isles.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention experts recently reported that flu activity has been ebbing for at least the last four weeks across the country.

"It's likely that the worst of the current flu season is over," CDC spokesman Tom Skinner said.

While this season's particular strain of the flu virus seemed to make people sicker, the season has been considered mildly severe.

Sharon Smith, health services program manager with the Glynn County Health Department, says residents can relax but should remain cautious.

"According to the CDC, the cases are waning right now, but if you feel like you're coming down with what feels like the flu, you should see your doctor," Smith said. "But really, the main thing is to stay home from work or school. That's an easy way to avoid spreading your symptoms."

Whether or not one feels any symptoms, she reminds all to continue to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water and to cover the mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing.

"For those who haven't been vaccinated, many places are out of the vaccine already and it's not necessarily something to worry about for most people since the season is waning," Smith said. "However, the flu affects seniors and children the worst, and though they should have been vaccinated already, I'd recommend trying to find the vaccine, if possible."

Children are especially susceptible to spreading the virus thanks to the proximity to other children in day cares and schools.

Smith says they then bring it home and can spread it to the whole family, so continue to teach children proper hand washing.

Glynn County residents can be thankful no cases of the norovirus -- a nasty version of the stomach flu characterized by stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting -- have been reported.

Out of 50 states, 47 have had reported cases.

"To be safe and avoid it, continue to wash all foods thoroughly before handling or eating and disinfect surfaces," she said.

"The easiest way to not spread it if you do find yourself with what feels like the norovirus is to not handle food, period."

* Reporter Sarah Lundgren writes about education and other local topics. Contact her at slundgren@thebrunswicknews.com, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 322.



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