COVID-19 new case rate declines

Coronavirus cell disease. Coronavirus flu background. Dangerous cases of flu. Medical health risk. Vector illustration.

The daily COVID-19 case count increase is posted on the Donalsonville News Facebook page

The rate of increase in new cases in Seminole County in a one week period has dropped with only nine new cases of COVID-19 diagnosed here in the last seven days. Even better, no new deaths of Seminole County residents were reported, according to information from the Georgia Department of Public Health. 

As of press time on Wednesday, October 21, twenty-two confirmed positive cases of
COVID-19 have been reported in Seminole County so far in the month of October. Nine case have been reported in the last seven days and only one new positive COVID-19 case has been reported by the Georgia Department of Health in the last 24 hours. 

The COVID-19 Health Equity Interactive Dashboard by Emory University confirms the positive news, stating, “As of 10/21/2020, the daily average of new COVID-19 cases in Seminole County had dropped to just one case.

Eighty-three confirmed cases were reported in Seminole County in the month of September.  Since March, Seminole County has now been recorded with 383 positive cases, ten of which, sadly, have resulted in Coronavirus related deaths. The 383 number is not a total of the number of active local cases, but rather, as stated above, a cumulative total of individuals testing positive in Seminole County since March.

As of Wednesday, October 21 since March there have been 342,438 cases of COVID-19 statewide – out of 3,661,658 people tested – and 7,674 deaths reported to state health officials. Since this time last week, 155,174 additional Georgia residents have been tested, with 9,134 of them testing positive for COVID-19. During that same time period, the state’s number of COVID-19 related deaths increased by 220.

In the Southwest Georgia public health region, 73.47 percent, or 565 of the 769 inpatient hospital beds available were in use as of Tuesday, and 95 of the 115 total I.C.U. beds, or 82.61 percent, were in use, according to public health information. Of the region’s 289 ventilators, 13.84 percent, or 40 ventilators, were in use Tuesday.

Public health officials are encouraging citizens over the age of six months to get a flu shot this year.

“Now more than ever, influenza vaccination is critical not only to protect people from getting sick, but to reduce the burden on our healthcare system already caring for COVID-19 patients,” said Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H, DPH commissioner. “Even if the vaccine doesn’t prevent illness from flu completely, it can help reduce the severity and risk of serious complications – and keep people out of the hospital during this COVID-19 pandemic.”

Influenza and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. Flu and COVID-19 share many characteristics, including: fever or feeling feverish/chills; cough; shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; fatigue; sore throat; runny or stuffy nose; muscle pain or body aches and headaches; vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children than adults).

Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone, and testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis.

Both the flu and COVID-19 spread in similar ways. Droplets or smaller virus particles from a sick person can transmit the virus to other people nearby. The smallest particles may linger in the air, and another person can inhale them and become infected.

An important difference between flu and COVID-19 is there is a vaccine available to everyone to protect against flu.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend getting an annual flu shot by the end of October. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against flu to develop in the body.

To help protect against the flu or any respiratory illness, including COVID-19: anyone with symptoms should stay home from school or work; practice social distancing with six feet; wear a mask or face covering in public; wash hands frequently and thoroughly (use hand sanitizers if no access to soap and water); cover the nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing (use a tissue, or cough/sneeze into the crook of the elbow or arm); avoid touching the face.

There are medications that can be used to treat flu but they are most effective when taken within 48 hours of the onset of flu symptoms.

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