H1N1 Hits Home for Georgia Health Chief

12:05 PM, Sep 15, 2009   |    comments
  • Dr. Rhonda Medows gets a seasonal flu shot at the State Capitol.
  • Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue gets a seasonal flu shot at the State Capitol.
  • Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue and Department of Community Health Commissioner Dr. Rhonda Medows.
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ATLANTA -- The Novel H1N1 Flu is hitting home for Georgia's top health official.

Dr. Rhonda Medows, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Health, said members of her staff and her own family have suffered with swine flu.

"My chief of staff is out, my chief for the division of state health plan has been ill and barely made it in, same thing for my financial officer," Medows said. She also said her two sons, ages 8 and 9, were recently out with the H1N1 virus.

Medows talked about the personal impact of H1N1 at the State Capitol Tuesday during an appearance with Governor Sonny Perdue.

They both volunteered to get seasonal flu vaccines to help launch a new statewide campaign called "Roll Up Your Sleeve."

"I'm going to roll up my sleeve and get my seasonal flu shot, and we want to encourage all of you to do the same thing," Perdue said.

Perdue said he plans to get the H1N1 vaccine, when it's ready.

"We understand they've cleared just one, not two vaccines, so hopefully we can get those soon," he said.

Dr. Medows said the first batch of novel H1N1 vaccines should arrive in Georgia in early October, with about 2 million doses expected by month's end.

In the meantime, she's encouraging people to get the seasonal flu vaccine.

"What we're trying to do is prevent people from having both, being at risk for both and possibly developing both," she said.

Dr. Medows said parents need to be careful when taking care of sick children.

She said her staff members likely contracted H1N1 from their kids, who picked up the virus at school.

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