COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - According to new estimates by the Center for Disease Control the seasonal flu death estimate has increased worldwide.
It’s now between 291,000 and 646,000 people who die from seasonal influenza-related respiratory illnesses each year, which is higher than the previous estimate of 25,000 to 500,000.
Georgia is on the map as one of the states seen with a high number of flu activity.
One expert with the local health department says that now is the time to take action since the flu is hitting hard this season.
“Flu seasons last as long as there are people who are having the flu, so what you want to do for yourself for one is get a flu shot and number two disinfect areas around your house and common areas,” says Pamela Kirkland with the Georgia Department of Health.
Many places in the country are seeing a high demand for Tamiflu and are seeing shortages of it.
Pharmacies in Columbus say that they have it on their shelves but they aren’t selling it like they normally do. Some Columbus residents say that they aren’t fans of the shots or medication because of the chances.
"The success rate is somewhere between 30 percent to 50 percent and that's not a risk I'm willing to take right now. Now if the advancements come along then yeah, I'll consider it, but as of right now. I had a flu shot when I was a kid and I got the flu," explained Lonnie Wilson, who says that he is not getting the flu shot this year.
And others are looking to take the chance to avoid the risk that many in Columbus and America are facing.
“I mean I’ve got the flu shot every year. well except for this year. and I’ve never had the flu, so I guess that’s good. Maybe tomorrow we should go get a flu shot? We should go get a flu shot tomorrow,” says Columbus resident Marty.
According to data from the Center for Disease Control, the flu hasn’t reached epidemic proportions, but it could happen soon.