State health officials say the number of people hospitalized with flu symptoms in metro Atlanta has soared in recent weeks, the latest sign of a widespread flu outbreak.
The Georgia Department of Public Health reports that 244 people were hospitalized during a recent four-week period in metro Atlanta.
During the same four-week period last year, there were just eight hospitalizations, heath department spokeswoman Nancy Nydam said. Dr. Patrice Harris, director of Fulton County Health Services and a district health director, said last season was considered a mild one for flu activity.
During the H1N1 pandemic of 2009, there were 127 hospitalizations during the same four-week period.
The hospitalizations underscore the severity of the flu, which is striking Georgia harder this season than at any time in the past decade.