March 18, 2018

Tennessee Department Of Health Flu Update

14 January 2018, 12:46 | Randall Craig

2017-18 flu season is a rough one, but not something we haven't see before

Influenza Season Survival Tips

According to the report, the flu has the biggest influence on people over the age of 65.

Flu is more widespread than in a typical year, and Ashland County is seeing more influenza-related hospitalizations than usual according to Jenna Gerwig, epidemiologist with the Ashland County-City Health Department.

"The manufacturers are reporting that they've shipped more than 151 million doses of flu vaccine so there should be product available to folks".

Health Minister John Haggie says a potentially less-than-perfect flu vaccine doesn't mean people should skip their flu vaccine this year.

State officials are not mandated to report flu deaths among those 65 and older. Two of the people were between 61 and 80 years of age and the rest were older.

But while no one disputes this is a bad year for flu, Jernigan said it's too early to tell if this flu season is more severe than recent seasons, including the 2014-2015 season. H3N2-dominant flu seasons are associated with more severe illness, especially among children and older adults.

Symptoms of the flu vary but can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.

"There are still more strains that could show up", said Dr. Dan Jernigan, director of the Influenza Division with the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

Officials with the Boise and West Ada school districts said they aren't seeing a spike in flu right now. In addition, they say the vaccine could offer good protection against other flu strains in circulation, including Influenza B.

The main flu strain circulating this season called influenza A (H3N2).

If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. It takes about two weeks for the flu shot to take effect. "There is nothing out of the ordinary in terms of the type of influenza that we're seeing", Harris said. Jernigan said in 2014-2015, the last severe flu season in the USA, that number reached 6% at this point in the flu season.

Make sure you cover your cough, clean your hands and you contain your germs by staying at home when you are ill. In the last 20 years [the estimated number of people presenting flu symptoms] hasn't reached that height.

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