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Tennessee Among Highest Flu Rates In Nation

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Tennessee Among Highest Flu Rates In Nation

Tennessee is among some of the highest flu rates in the nation according to the CDC’s flu map.

Cookeville Regional Medical Center Infection Prevention Manager Stephanie Etter said this year’s flu arrived sooner and more severe than in previous years. She said what sets the flu apart from the common cold is that it comes on unexpectedly.

“It’s that sudden onset unlike the cold where you might have sniffles and not feel so well,” Etter said. “Flu really takes its toll on your body much harder typically.”

Etter said the most effective way to protect yourself and others this flu season is to get a flu vaccine as soon as possible. She said it takes about two weeks for the antibodies to form, and individuals should get their shot before gathering with loved ones.

Etter said other ways to protect yourself include things as simple as washing your hands and covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze. To prevent even more spread of the flu, she said it’s a good idea to stay home if you’re feeling sick. She said they have already seen an uptick in cases at the hospital.

“It’s not a high number per see, for example between about five and 10, but it’s a high number for flu patients in the hospital we don’t typically see that many admitted,” Etter said. “It’s usually a trickle here and there and with one or two people admitted that may have preexisting conditions. So to see that many, it just goes along with what I was saying that the flu is hitting harder and it’s hitting faster this year.”


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