NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Brace yourselves for flu season. That’s the warning from Metro’s health department as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports a slight uptick in early flu infections in some areas of the South.
“We haven’t seen any cases here in Tennessee yet. We do know from the Southern Hemisphere that we expect this year’s flu season to probably be more severe than it’s been the last couple years,” said Dr. Gill Wright III, Director of Metro Nashville Public Health Department.
The flu season has officially kicked off, but the peak times are usually later in the year.
“We usually see our, majority of our cases, sometime between mid to late November. And usually by April, we’re fairly well done,” said Dr. Wright.
Dr. Wright said it’s unknown how well this year’s flu shot will match up with the strain that circulates. However, he said your best bet to deal with the bug is to roll up your sleeves.
“It takes about two weeks from when you get the vaccine until you’re immune or until you get your most antibodies, and then it lasts about six months.” He continued, “If you were to do it in early September, I would say that you probably should have a booster sometime around March. But if you get it in mid October, or later, then that’s usually good for the whole flu season.”
As to preventing contracting the flu, Dr. Wright said to follow protocol we’ve all become familiar with.
“The flu, obviously spaz spreads just like COVID. All the things we said during COVID are really true. If you’re concerned, masking up helps reduce exposure, washing your hands frequently, if you’re sick, staying home,” he said.
The CDC said as of September 24, 2022, Tennessee’s activity for flu is low because only one of the 95 counties has reported a positive flu test in the past six weeks.
Neighboring state, Georgia, has a high flu activity level, according to the CDC.