• It's back: 2nd, stronger wave of flu is hitting Southeast

    Updated:

    ATLANTA - Thought the flu season was over in Georgia? Think again.

    This week, your nose and eyes may be burning primarily because of pollen, but flu season still is not over, health officials say.

    Georgia is currently listed on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention influenza map as "widespread" for influenza activity. 

    According to the CDC, a second wave of the virus is still circulating and could make you even more sick than earlier this season. 

    Channel 2's Steve Gehlbach talked to Dr. Melanie Griffin, an assistant professor of biology at Kennesaw State University, about why the relatively mild flu season this year continues on into spring.

    "It does look like influenza is lasting longer this year," Griffin said.

    The CDC says this new strain could last into May and may be more resistant to the flu shot. 

    "While the epidemic vaccines traditionally protected against some of the other types of strains, this one, maybe not so much," Griffin said. 

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    Griffin said the good news is that it isn't too late to get a flu shot. 

    "It's important to remember that the influenza vaccine does give you cross protection for the next year, so that's always a benefit," Griffin said. 

    Wednesday, the National Institutes of Health announced the first human trials on a universal flu vaccine that could eventually give much more protection and mean much fewer shots. 

    "Imagine getting one vaccine that's going to be cross-protective against everything and not having to get an annual one," Griffin said. "That would be great."

    Unfortunately, the improved flu vaccine could be years down the line. 

    In the meantime, health officials say if you show symptoms, stay home and use common-sense prevention to keep from spreading it. 

    "Wash your hands often, get plenty of rest, be well-rested and eat well," Griffin said. 

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