Flu cases increase; Vaccine still available locally

LOCAL NEWS — If you’re sick … stay home. This is the take away this week from the recent uptick in confirmed flu cases … especially in the student population here in Moore County.

On Tuesday, Metro Director of Schools Chad Moorehead decided to close all Moore County schools for the remainder of the week due to illness. Previously scheduled athletic events remain scheduled at this time but Moorehead cautioned any sick fans to “stay home and get well.” Following suit, the organizers of the annual Miss Lynchburg Pageant decided to postpone their event until February 8 for similar reason. The event was originally scheduled for this Saturday.

It seems to be a prudent move. Also on Tuesday, the State Department of Health confirmed the eighth pediatric death in Tennessee related to the current flu season. Three of those deaths took place in Middle Tennessee. As of last week, 45 of Tennessee’s 95 counties had at least one confirmed flu case. According to the CDC, Tennessee continues to rank high in flu activity.

Lori Neal Russel of the Lynchburg Medical Clinic says her office did see a slight spike in cases last week.

“I think it’s been bad in kids,” she told The Times. “But not too bad in adults.”

Flu symptoms include a fever of over 100 degrees plus aches, fatigue, weakness, cough, and a headache. Symptoms usually happen abruptly. Medical professional say it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you’re feeling sick, stay at home as patients remain contagious for three to four days.

Flu vaccines are still available at the Metro Moore Health Department as well as Lynchburg Medical Clinic. LMC also has high dose vaccines recommended for patients 65 years and older. To make an appointment with the Health Department, call 931-759-4251. To make an appointment with the Lynchburg Medical Clinic, call 931-759-4197. •

{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.}

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.}

Free, drive thru flu shots offered on Tuesday

LOCAL NEWS | Health — The Tennessee Department of Health and Moore County Health Department will partner to offer free, drive thru flu shots on Tuesday, November 19 from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Flu season typically peaks in Tennessee around January and February but according to state health officials confirmed flu cases are already on the uptick. The CDC Flu Activity Map shows 12 of Tennessee’s 95 counties currently have at least one confirmed flu case. Last year in Middle Tennessee, three children and one pregnant woman died due to flu related illness. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), flu kills over 36,000 Americans annually.

Flu shots are recommended for all individuals over the age of six months. It’s especially important for infants, pregnant women, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems. Symptoms include fever, cough, congestion, and body aches. The illness is highly contagious. Those who suspect they have the flu should stay at home and avoid contacts with others until all symptoms have cleared. To prevent the spread of flu virus, people should cover their mouths when they cough, wash their hands regularly, and routinely disinfect their home and office spaces until flu season is over.

Shots will be administered under the awning at the Lynchburg Church of Christ located at 376 Main Street. •

{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.}