Flu virus widespread across Mid-South - WKRN News 2

Flu virus widespread across Mid-South

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Flu and flu-like illnesses have kept doctors in Middle Tennessee busy over the last few weeks.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Tennessee now has regional flu problems and around the south, the illness is widespread.

The CDC also said that nearly half of the flu cases happen in the month of February, meaning most will likely need to take extra measures to protect themselves against the contagious illness.

Mary Darton, a registered nurse with CVS's Minute Clinic, told Nashville's News 2 there are many illnesses going around this season.

"We are seeing a number of viral respiratory illnesses, upper respiratory infections, bronchitis and strep throat," she explained.

Darton said those who have received a flu shot should not worry too much about the flu, as the vaccine is effective against the two major strands present this season.

Southern Hills Medical Center is also seeing a spike in the number of flu cases in their emergency room.

Greta Woodall, the director of emergency services, said, "We saw an increase that began at the end of December and has gone through January so far."

During recent weeks, Woodall told Nashville's News 2 doctors treated around seventy-five patients who tested positive for the flu virus.

February is the prime time for the flu due to the cold temperatures outside and the warm temperatures inside, welcoming and harvesting germs.

You can protect yourself by washing your hands frequently and coughing into your elbow instead of your hand.

You should also disinfect areas where hands commonly touch such as steering wheels, door knobs and other well traveled areas.

If you do get sick, there are steps you can take to help you feel better soon.

"Get rest and lots of fluids," Darton said.  "Sometimes over-the-counter decongestants will relieve the symptoms as well."

Flu vaccines are still available at Metro's health department.  Visit Health.Nashville.gov for more information.

Read more about the seasonal flu online at CDC.gov.

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