Department of Health confirms 4 flu deaths in Tennessee

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Tennessee Department of Health officials say there are now four confirmed deaths from the current flu season.

Two are in the Middle Grand Division and the other two are in the East Grand Division.

Why are only pediatric and pregnancy related flu deaths reportable in Tennessee: Pediatric deaths are nationally notifiable and required to be submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Tennessee, flu deaths in pregnant women were made reportable after the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. We made it reportable so we could in future seasons, definitively say if we have an increase in flu deaths in pregnant women.

As for why all influenza deaths are not reportable: For adults, especially older adults, flu is under diagnosed and under reported. Because of this, the number of influenza deaths seen and reported would be misleading.”what we know is people who are vaccinated against the flu are much less likely to be hospitalized or die from the flu and I acquit that to being in a car accident. You don’t know if you’re going to be in a car accident so you put on your seat belt in case you’re in one because it increases your chance that you’re going to survive that car accident. We should be getting flu vaccines because if we get infected with the flu having that vaccine on board makes it less likely we will die or be hospitalized from the flu,” Dr. Michelle Fiscus said.

“We don’t really have a good understanding of why that is sort of the 16 million dollar question.. we don’t know .. seasons happen as they happen there’s lots of theories about that does it have to do with climate does it have to do with virus’ coming in form other places we don’t have good answers ,” Dr. Michelle Fiscus said.

“This particular season, the flu we’re seeing has sickened a lot of people, hospital admissions are way up, pediatric deaths are significantly up and our overall flu counts in the state are rivaling what we saw a couple of years ago ,” Dr. Michelle Fiscus said.

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