The number of Georgia flu cases is skyrocketing, and health officials say the side effects of this particular strain are especially severe.
Angie Callaway, with the Whitfield County Health Department, says the flu virus is widespread throughout Georgia.
"All areas are seeing an increase in this time in flu cases," Callaway says.
Callaway, Clinical Nurse Supervisor, says children are especially at risk.
"If they're 6 months and older, they need to have the children get their flu shots. For those children under 6 months, parents can protect their children by making sure they get the flu shot and the family members that are around their babies get the flu shot."
New mom Brittany McClure says she's heeded that advice to keep the flu virus far away from 10 day old Lily-Ann.
"I got the flu shot while I was in the hospital to help her immunity and to help protect her against the flu," McClure says.
Sherry Hillis, Hamilton Medical Center's Director of Infection Prevention, says they've dealt with 246 cases of the flu already.
At least 100 of those have occurred since the holidays.
But Hillis says some of us are more at risk than others.
"This is probably more babies, elderly and the chronically ill, those with chronic conditions, because those are the ones that usually seek the medical attention," Hillis says.
Hillis pulled up various statistics from Centers for Disease Control... And says the severity of symptoms, and number of cases are reminiscent of 2003's strain of the virus.
In reviewing the high numbers of 2012 flu cases, including some pediatric deaths in Region 4, Hillis described this strain as 'scary'...especially as it pertains to kids.