10:04am

Fri January 11, 2013
Top Stories

Tennessee Hit Hard by an Early Flu Season

Credit cdc.gov

NEW YORK (AP/WMOT) — Health officials say the flu is more widespread across the nation this year, and Tennessee is one of the states hardest hit.

Flu season started early this winter, and includes a strain that tends to make people sicker. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the flu is widespread in 47 states.

Dr. Kelly Moore  is with the Tennessee Department of Health.

“Flu has definitely hit its stride across the state of Tennessee. We’re one of those states with widespread flu activity according to the CDC, and according to the experience of doctors we’re hearing from across the state. This is going to be at least a moderately severe season, which we haven’t seen in several years.”

Dr. Moore says it still isn’t too late to get a flu vaccination.

So far, 20 children have died from the flu nationwide. There’s no running tally of adult deaths, but the CDC estimates that the flu kills about 24,000 people in an average year.

There may be worse to come. Seasonal influenza generally doesn’t hit its peak until February.