COBB COUNTY, Ga. — The state's busiest emergency department is experiencing numbers they have never seen before, and it's the flu that's driving the trend.
WellStar Kennestone Hospital's emergency department is dealing with a 30 percent spike in flu cases, according to hospital officials.
"That's pretty daunting, pretty wild," Cobb County resident Donna Rainey said.
On Wednesday, the hospital had a record-breaking day when 516 people came in for treatment in a 24-hour period -- many of them showing flu-like symptoms.
"It's been insane. Everyone has it. It's just, everyone's sick from school," student Sarah Harris told Channel 2's Carl Willis.
"It's scary and it can turn into so many other things that can be lethal," Cobb County resident Katy Crowson said.
So far, the flu has been to blame for at least 25 deaths across the state.
Dr. Brett Cannon with WellStar Health said there's still time to slow those off-the-chart numbers.
"We hope everybody's had a flu shot, and if you're not having symptoms then it's not too late to get a flu shot," Cannon said.
He said, at the least, the shot can reduce the severity of the flu. Although the flu can be deadly, Cannon told Willis that most cases can be managed at home.
“Staying if you're sick and keeping your kids home from school if they're sick, washing your hands frequently and avoiding those who are sick when you can," Cannon said.
And make sure you're out ahead of the flu to prevent another emergency room record from being broken.
"In the past two weeks, we've made sure we're more diligent in wiping everything down and washing everything as much as possible," Crowson said.
Cox Media Group