Linda Howard gets her flu shot from nursing student Elizabeth Wallace at the annual Free Flu Shot on Oct. 27 at Farragut Intermediate School in Knoxville, Tenn.(Photo: Michael Patrick, AP)
ATLANTA -- Georgia health officials say they've seen significant increases in flu activity statewide and are encouraging people to get a flu shot.
The Georgia Department of Public Health says the flu is hitting the state harder and earlier than in previous years. They say the early arrival of the H3N2 flu could mean a severe flu season.
Flu symptoms include cough, runny nose, sore throat and fever. One of the biggest symptoms is an overall achiness and malaise that starts quickly.
Health officials say the best way to avoid the flu is to get the flu vaccine. This year's vaccine is a close match for the strains of flu found in Georgia right now. Health officials say everyone over 6 months old who is healthy should get the vaccine.