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Flu activity increases nationwide


By Andrea Hinds

This past week, seasonal influenza activity increased nationally and most states are reporting widespread flu activity, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The latest weekly flu map from the CDC indicates that Tennessee is experiencing regional activity, but most of the country’s flu cases are widespread.

Young children are among those most at risk for serious illness and death from influenza. Tennessee typically sees four to five deaths among children from flu-related complications each year.

Recent studies show flu vaccine reduces the risk of flu illness by about 50 to 60 percent among the overall population during seasons when most circulating flu viruses are like the vaccine viruses. Flu vaccination may make your illness milder if you do get sick and can reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalization including among children and older adults.

The CDC reminds everyone to practice good health habits like frequent hand washing with soapy water, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers and cover coughs and sneezes with a sleeve or a tissue to help prevent the spread of the flu.

Signs of the Flu

Initially, the flu may seem like a common cold with a runny nose, sneezing, and sore throat, reports mayoclinic.com. But colds usually develop slowly, whereas the flu tends to come on suddenly. And although a cold can be a nuisance, you usually feel much worse with the flu.

Common signs and symptoms of the flu include:

Fever over 100.4 F (38 C)

Aching muscles

Chills and sweats


Dry, persistent cough

Fatigue and weakness

Nasal congestion

Sore throat

Andrea Hinds has always loved the written word. She holds a B.A. in Journalism and a Masters in Creative Writing, both from Belmont University.


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