May 18, 2024 2:43 pm
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Local News

The Flu Season Is Here, and Georgia Has the Nation’s Highest Flu Rate

Credit: iStock

Staff Writer

As Georgia is among the states that report high flu activity, the emergency department and urgent care centers in the state are facing a flux of patients. Although the specific number of incoming patients remains unknown, a hospital spokesperson has revealed that the surge is two to three times their normal volume of patients.

Moreover, according to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the number of sick children is “unprecedented.” At the same time, other respiratory viruses that are circulating in the state have appeared to impact some groups more than others, namely infants and older adults. As healthcare systems around the region are experiencing the pressure that comes with patient surges, the severity of influenza the U.S. will experience should receive special attention.

Georgia takes aim at mental health care shortages with new legislation

Georgia is intensifying efforts to tackle its mental health care challenges with new legislation designed to increase the availability of mental health professionals across the state. Representative Sharon Cooper emphasizes the state’s commitment to equalizing access to mental health services, particularly in rural areas, by offering loan repayment incentives to providers working in underserved regions.

Kemp signs bill into law forcing sheriffs to enforce federal immigration law

Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia signed a contentious new law on May 1, 2024, mandating that law enforcement agencies notify federal authorities about the arrest of undocumented immigrants, with penalties including loss of state funding and criminal charges for non-compliance. Critics argue the law targets Georgia’s Hispanic community disproportionately and contrasts sharply with previous state efforts towards criminal justice reform.