Hospital visits for flu-like illness in the South

By Maggie Lee - For the AJC

One of the ways to see the severity of a flu season is to count the percent of hospital visits that are for "flu-like symptoms." But the type of flu and who it hits are also part of the story.

Georgia lags in flu vaccination rates

Georgia brought down the national flu vaccination rate during the 2012-2103 season.

Georgians face some of the same barriers to a flu shot as people in the rest of the country, like getting time off work to take the family for their immunization, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. Pregnant women are a special concern as 41 Georgia counties have no OB service.

This school year, the DPH is repeating a school-based program that nearly doubled the number of K-12-age children vaccinated in 2012-2013. County health departments partner with community groups, places of worship and employers to deploy shots at convenient, accesible times and places.

The DPH advises everyone over the age of 6 months to get an annual flu shot.