ATLANTA - Doctors said there's a big surge in child flu cases and they expect it to get worse before it gets better.
Channel 2’s Chris Jose walked through a Cobb County emergency room Thursday where almost every seat was taken.
Jose said some people had on masks, a sign that several families are battling flu-like symptoms.
“We had a really big surge like that 2nd week of December,” said Dr. Bianca Bell, who works in the pediatric emergency room at Wellstar-Kennestone hospital.
Bell said she has about 30 patients a day, and six to 10 have had flu like symptoms.
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“We’ve seen a lot of flu lately. There’s been about an eight to 10 percent increase,” Bell said.
Bell said the flu spike has been reported across metro Atlanta.
So far, Cobb and Douglas public health said no flu-related deaths have been reported.
At the national level, the Centers for Disease Control said 12 children have died to flu this season, nearly 2,500 have been hospitalized.
Health officials stress prevention is key.
“It is protective, and you cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine,” Bell said.
Bell said parents with sick children should visit their pediatrician first.
“However, if they are in a lot of respiratory distress, or you really feel they’re dehydrated, and they haven’t made good urine output over the last several hours, we would like to see them in the emergency department,” Bell said.
Doctors don't believe flu season has peaked yet. Activity typically peaks between December and February. With cases lasting as late as May.
“This is flu season so we expect it may increase before it decreases,” Bell said.
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