Flu cases spike signaling start to season - WKRN News 2

Flu cases spike signaling start to season

Posted:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

The number of flu cases is on the rise in Middle Tennessee.

According Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, 20 new confirmed flu cases were admitted to area hospitals over the weekend, making 50 confirmed cases so far this season.

Dr. Schaffner said some patients have been so ill they have been admitted to the intensive care unit.

One person has died from the flu and a second death is suspected to be flu-related.
 
"Flu has hit and there is no doubt about it," Dr. Schaffner told News 2 Monday.

While flu numbers are spiking, it is neither a super bug nor is it atypical for Christmastime.

However, this year's strain appears to be affecting more people who are young and healthy.

"We always see some younger people but this strain seems to affect younger people, even more than older people," Schaffner explained.

The flu shot is the first and best way to protect against the virus and it's not too late to get vaccinated this year, according to Dr. Schaffner.

All pregnant women should get the flu shot in addition to the very young, particularly those under the age of 2, and those over the age of 65, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The flu will kill 36,000 people across the United States this year and will put 200,000 people in the hospital.

Read more at CDC.gov/Flu.

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