Get Vaccinated Now Before Flu Season Peaks
North Georgia – Last year, Georgia experienced one of the worst flu seasons in recent history. This year, even before the typical peak of flu season, the CDC reports that Georgia is already experiencing high and widespread numbers of flu-like illnesses and confirmed cases.
North Georgia Health District officials urge residents to vaccinate before the peak of flu season, which usually begins in this region by mid-January and lasts through the end of February, possibly longer. It takes a couple of weeks for flu vaccine to reach its full protective potential within the body, so now is a critical time to get the shot for those who still need one.
Influenza can be a serious disease that leads to hospitalization and sometimes death. Regardless of race, age, gender or ethnicity, anyone can get sick from the flu. Those especially at risk are adults 65 years of age and older, children younger than 5, pregnant women, and people with certain chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease or other long-term medical conditions.
Even healthy children and adults can get very sick from the flu, but flu vaccine is the best protection.
Both regular quadrivalent flu vaccine, which protects against the four strains of flu virus that are most commonly circulating this season, and high dose flu vaccine for people age 65 and older are available at local health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties (contact information for each of these health departments is at www.nghd.org). The health departments accept several forms of health insurance as well as Medicare and Medicaid so that vaccination is cost-free to the client. For people without healthcare coverage, regular flu vaccine is $25 and high dose flu vaccine is $65.
Symptoms of seasonal flu may include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, tiredness and/or muscle aches. People who might have flu – particularly if they are in the groups listed above at risk for severe disease and complications – should seek medical care and start antiviral medication as soon as possible.
In addition to a flu shot, there are simple things anyone can do to help prevent getting or spreading the flu:
- Wash your hands and your children’s hands frequently, especially after contact with other people.
- Use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze and dispose of the tissue afterward, or cough or sneeze into your sleeve if no tissues are available.
- Clean your hands after you cough or sneeze, even if you use a tissue. Use soap and water or an alcohol-based hand cleaner if soap and water are not available and your hands are not visibly dirty.
- When possible, stay home if you get the flu.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
But most importantly, before flu season peaks, people should make it a top priority to go to or call their county health department or health care provider to be vaccinated. For more information on immunization, visit the Georgia Department of Public Health website at http://dph.georgia.gov/influenza-what-you-need-know.
This past Thursday at the Mountaintop Holiday Classic, the Gilmer Bobcats took on the Coahulla Creek Colts at Fannin County High School. Both teams were battling to redeem themselves from their lost games prior to the matchup at Fannin County. The Colts did not come to “horse around”, they put their all into the game and the Bobcats did the same.
During the first quarter of the game, Gilmer relied heavily on inside passes for shots under the basket which was how they scored the majority of their points. This allowed Bobcat, Kell Weaver, to be the main man inside throughout the game and lead Gilmer in scoring with twenty-five points. The Colts did most of their scoring from the outside thanks to their point guard, Maddox Adams. Adams led his team in scoring with twenty-eight points overall. Although the teams had different methods of scoring, it didn’t mean that one was better than the other. As the buzzer sounds for the first quarter to end, the Gilmer Bobcats and Coahulla Creek Colts were tied with a score of 14-14.
Both teams were fighting for the lead as soon as the second quarter began. The Bobcats gained more confidence in their shooting and started making outside shots. Bobcat, Tyler Sims, contributed twenty points for Gilmer with his outside shots. Another Bobcat, David Smith, followed the trend by scoring a three point shot for his team. Bobcat number two, Carter Hice, started driving the lane and put eight more points on the board. Gilmer took the lead over the Colts after the second quarter with a score of 30-24.
With the Colts making fakes left and right, Gilmer also found an opportunity for more points. The Bobcats had the determination to look up the court and see the open lane as a perfect chance for layups. Bobcat, Coady Cobb, had the speed to make the layups and contribute six points for Gilmer. Another Bobcat, Austin Daman, contributed four more points to put on the board for his team. Gilmer doubled their lead over the Colts at the end of the third quarter with a score of 46-34.
Although the Colts lead strayed farther from the Bobcats, they were not giving up. Both teams started getting after it on defense and drawing fouls. Towards the end of the game, Gilmer started driving the defense inside, leaving teammates on the outside open where they would score more points. The Colts proved to have outstanding determination and hustle by going after loose balls and getting steals on defense. However, it was not enough for them to trot away with a win. Being the last game of the night, the Gilmer Bobcats closed out the first day of the tournament with a 66-54 win over the Coahulla Creek Colts.
The Bobcats win puts their overall record at 4-8 while the Colts stand at 3-7. Catch the Gilmer Bobcats next region game on January 5 at 8:30 as they travel to take on Northwest Whitfield!
The Lady Bobcats traveled to Fannin County High School this past Thursday where they were matched up to take on the Lady Colts for day one of the Mountaintop Holiday Classic. The Colts were striving to continue their winning streak of two games prior to the matchup at Fannin County while the Bobcats were determined to knock them off their high horse and redeem themselves from a seven point loss to Union just a few nights before.
The Lady Colts did not waste any time. The first chance they got on defense, they went into a full court press. Despite the Lady Colts high pressure defense, the Lady Bobcats broke the press with no trouble. Gilmer had amazing looks up the court and found many opportunities for wide open shots. Bobcat, Emma Callihan, broke through the full court press and led her team in scoring by putting twenty-three points on the board. Lady Colt, Lily Snyder, led Coahulla Creek in scoring with twenty points overall. Number ten for the Bobcats, Marylee Callihan, was right behind her teammate in scoring with nineteen points thanks to her ankle-breaking moves under the basket. The Lady Bobcats had a three point lead over the Lady Colts at the end of the first quarter with a score of 16-13.
With the Lady Colts behind, they decided to try what was working for the Lady Bobcats. Coahulla Creek started looking up the court for open passes where they added onto their score. Bobcat, Faith Ralston, starting driving the lane and contributed two points for Gilmer. The Bobcats defense came alive towards the end of the quarter which resulted in Mallory Kiser getting steals and putting seventeen points on the board. Lady Colt, Mallory Poe, makes a three point buzzer beater shot at the end of the second quarter. Poe’s shot made the score 35-29 with Gilmer still in the lead.
Since the Lady Bobcats tried to keep their lead just as hard as the Lady Colts tried to take it away from them, both teams started fouling. Bobcat, MichaMichaela Staley, drew fouls and made one of her shots which contributed one point for Gilmer. Another Lady Bobcat, Hope Colweu, contributed two points for her team from foul shots due to her grit down low. As the third quarter came to an end, the Lady Bobcats kept their lead over the Lady Colts with a score of 54-42.
As the fourth quarter began, the Lady Colts found what was missing in their defense. Coahulla Creek’s intensity came alive by making steals left and right. With the Colts making adjustments, the Bobcats had to do the same if they wanted to keep their lead. Gilmer started to have good looks and passes on the inside where they extended their lead. The ball would be on the Lady Colts side of the court one second, then on the Lady Bobcats the other. Despite the Colts burst of energy at the end, they could not gallop to victory. The Gilmer Lady Bobcats won the game with a score of 77-67 over the Coahulla Creek Lady Colts.
The Lady Bobcats win puts their overall record at 7-5 with the Lady Colts standing at 5-6. Catch the Gilmer Lady Bobcats next region game on January 5 at 7:00 as they travel to take on Northwest Whitfield!