“I have received a barrage of messages this afternoon from many concerned citizens. I realize that there are a lot of rumors circulating at this point and that is why I am issuing this statement. There have been two deaths in Paulding County in the last day or so. Both patients had flu related symptoms with one patient confirmed to have had flu in the days prior to death. I have consulted with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Medical Examiner’s Office and the District Health Department as part of proper procedure and protocol with any death that falls into these guidelines. I have also been in close contact with our local hospital and Sheriff’s department. I want to reiterate that ALL sudden deaths where the decedent has little to no medical history are reported to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. And in the event of death from complications from or of an acute illness an autopsy is most likely done. This is flu season and we know that, though rare, the flu can lead to death for some individuals. Unfortunately, this is a reality that has always been the case. It is important that if you do show symptoms of being ill that you take the appropriate steps and precautions. I encourage you to cover your mouth when you cough/sneeze, wash your hands, get your flu shot if you haven’t already, and seek medical attention if you suspect you have the flu. If you have a confirmed case of the flu, I encourage you to stay home. I encourage you not to go to work, school, church, restaurants, or other public places where you can spread the infection even if you are “feeling better” or “feel okay right now”. As always me and my team are committed to the families we serve as well as we are dedicated to assisting and providing support to our local medical staff, law enforcement, and first responders. Again, at this time there is no confirmed cases of anything other than flu in our county. It is unfortunate that so many unsubstantiated rumors have circulated saying otherwise. The steps that were taken to report these deaths to the proper agencies are not out of the norm.