Flu-related deaths confirmed in Lee and Muscogee Counties

The flu epidemic is turning deadly as multiple families report their loved one dying after having flu-like symptoms.

Lee County Coroner, Bill Harris, confirms an 88-year-old man from Opelika passed away on January 2. Harris said the man had other medical issues when he tested positive for influenza-A.

Then, on January 11, a 64-year-old man from Smiths Station died at St. Francis Hospital in Columbus. Harris says he was admitted to the hospital for flu-like symptoms. 

In Muscogee County, Coroner Buddy Bryan says there have been five deaths, where other factors were at play, but the families reported the victim was having flu-like symptoms.

One victim’s partner says he believes his partner would still be alive had he not contracted the flu. He didn’t want to be named, but wanted to tell everyone to please do your part in preventing the spread of the illness.

Flu symptoms include fever, coughing, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue.

The Georgia Department of Public Health says the best way to prevent the flu is to receive the vaccine.

“The most important thing to do to prevent sickness is to get your flu vaccine, and the CDC recommends everyone, from six months of age and older, to get a flu shot. Especially, children who are under two, pregnant women, and the elderly over the age of 65,” say Pamela Kirkland, a spokeswoman for GDPH.

Other ways to prevent the spread include: stay home, stay away from sick people, make sure fever is gone for 24 hours before going back to work or school, frequent hand-washing, sanitize common areas, and wear a mask.

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