Health officials on flu: Cases in Tenn. could soon escalate

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Health officials tell News 2 this flu season is looking better than last year, but Middle Tennessee could soon take a turn for the worse.

The C.D.C. tracks flu cases weekly.

Its most recent data from early January shows flu activity in Tennessee is regional, but for our northern neighbor Kentucky, it’s widespread at the highest level.

“Certainly we’re not out of the woods by any means,” said Brian Todd, spokesperson for the Metro Public Health Department. “Probably we will be seeing over the next couple of weeks that increase in flu-like illness.”

It’s a warning from the Health Dept. in the midst of so far, a mild flu season.

“We’re much better off this year than last year,” said Todd. “But you don’t want any indication that people let their guards down.”

Todd said this year’s flu vaccine has so far been effective.

“The good news is right now, if you got the flu shot, the shot matches up really nicely with the strains that are circulating,” said Todd.

But Todd said Tennessee’s regional flu activity, identified in East Tennessee, could quickly turn widespread.

“Could be a matter of days,” said Todd. “There’s likely a lot more flu-like activity out there that’s not reported because people don’t go to the doctor.”

Todd said that ticking time frame comes from people with the flu returning to work from the holidays – adults spreading the virus at work, and kids at school.

“Make sure you’re vaccinated, make sure you’re washing your hands frequently, for those with symptoms, if you can, stay home,” said Todd.

Where to get a free flu shot (Mon. – Fri., 8:30 am – 3:30 pm):

Lentz Public Health Center
2500 Charlotte Avenue
Nashville, TN 37209
615-340-5616

East Public Health Center
1015 East Trinity Lane
Nashville, TN 37216
615-862-7916

Woodbine Public Health Center
224 Oriel Avenue
Nashville, TN 37210
615-862-7940

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