Flu activity spiking in Tennessee

Shown in red, Tennessee is one of the southern states in which flu cases are spreading more widely. {Graphic Courtesy of the CDC}

STATE NEWS — According to the latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Tennessee ranks among the 12 states spiking with flu-like illness this month. The virus seems to be spreading more widely in southern states with Tennessee and Virginia among the top two.

The Tennessee Department of Health latest numbers show a greater number of Tennesseans heading to area clinics with symptoms. The state’s percentage of outpatients visiting area clinic sites was 5.26 percent … that’s as compared to 3.83 percent the previous week. The CDC baseline is 2.4 percent. Seventeen of Tennessee’s 95 counties have had at least one confirmed flu positive test results in the past week. Shelby and Hamilton counties reported the highest number of cases.

In Tennessee, flu cases typically peak in January but state health officials predict this year’s flu season will peak earlier. The early influenza activity is being driven in part by influenza B/Victoria viruses, which is unusual for this time of the year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. That strain of the virus normally doesn’t appear until spring.

As always, those under the age of four and over of the age of 65 are most at risk. State health officials say it’s not too late to get a flu shot, and they urge anyone who has not already done so to get vaccinated immediately.

Last year, the U.S. experienced almost 35.9 million confirmed flu cases and nearly 46,800 flu deaths. For more information about getting a flu shot, contact the Moore County Health Department at 931-759-4251. Most pharmacies also offer flu shots. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

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