Widespread Flu in Georgia

If you have not gotten a flu shot yet, do not wait any longer! The predominant strain of flu circulating in Georgia and around the country is influenza A (H3N2). This strain can be particularly hard on the very young, people over age 65, or those with existing medical conditions. Every individual over six months of age should get a flu shot. 

Flu symptoms and their intensity can vary from person to person, and can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. If you think you have the flu, call or visit your doctor.

There are other things you can do to help prevent the spread of flu – tried and true measures your mother taught you.

  • Frequent and thorough hand-washing with soap and warm water. Alcohol based gels are the next best thing if you don’t have access to soap and water.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing to help prevent the spread of the flu. Use a tissue or cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow or arm.
  • Avoid touching your face as flu germs can get into the body through mucus membranes of the nose, mouth and eyes.
  • If you are sick, stay home from school or work. Flu sufferers should be free of a fever, without the use of a fever reducer, for at least 24 hours before returning to school or work.

Click for important information about flu in Georgia here.

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Commissioner's Corner

J. Patrick O’Neal, M.D. was appointed Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health July 7, 2017, by Governor Nathan Deal. 

In addition to his role of commissioner, Dr. O’Neal serves as the director of Health Protection for the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH), where he has oversight responsibility for Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Trauma, Emergency Preparedness, Epidemiology, Infectious Disease, Immunizations and Environmental Health.

Since 2002, Dr. O’Neal has served as the medical director for the Office of EMS/Trauma in the Georgia Division of Public Health under the Department of Community Health (DCH). For 29 years prior, he practiced emergency medicine at DeKalb Medical Center in Decatur. In his final seven years at DeKalb Medical Center, he served as the regional medical director for EMS throughout the Greater Atlanta area. Dr. O’Neal formerly served as director of the Outpatient Clinic at the Medical Center of Central Georgia for two years before his work at DeKalb.

He completed an undergraduate program at Davidson College in North Carolina and received his medical education at the Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana. Following medical school, he completed a rotating internship at Providence Hospital, Portland, Oregon, before entering the United States Air Force for training in flight medicine. Dr. O’Neal served as a flight surgeon in Viet Nam in 1970-71.

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News Releases

Widespread Flu in Georgia

January 12, 2018

ATLANTA –  If you have not gotten a flu shot yet, do not wait any longer! Flu is widespread in Georgia, and more than three hundred individuals have been hospitalized with flu-related illness.

Zika Precautions Urged for Georgia Travelers

December 1, 2017

ATLANTA - The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) cautions travelers, especially women who are pregnant, headed to countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing: Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Marti