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Wednesday, September 2, 2009 - 4:36pm

H1N1 Widespread in Georgia

A map published weekly on the website of the Centers for Desease Control and Prevention shows that Georgia is the only state in the lower 48 where swine flu is considered widespread.

And that's the highest possible category.

Public health officials are pushing for flu shots and urging precaution.

Health officials say young people are more likely to get the H1N1 flu virus than older people and that Georgia schools and universities are places most likely to report the greatest number of cases.

The University of Georgia and Emory University have already reported over a dozen cases.

Emory has set up a separate dorm for around 50 students with flu.

Tom Skinner with the CDC says the virus has been in the state since April, but activity was low over the summer until the start of the school year.

"Georgia is one of the first places around the country where school starts early," Skinner says. "We've seen and uptick that's not surprising."

Health officials do worry that things may get worse when the regular flu season begins.

To that end, Governor Sonny Perdue will publicly get a flu shot later this month to encourage others do to do the same.

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