At least 14 people in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia have died from flu-related complications this season, as health officials are reporting an increased severity in the virus.

The numbers, compiled from local hospitals' reports, show just how heavy the virus' toll has been. This year's flu season has seen the hospitalization of far more healthy, middle-aged people than usual.

"The really sick folks have been in the middle-aged, 20 to 40 range," said Dale Solomon, emergency department manager at Parkridge East Hospital in Chattanooga, which has seen 309 diagnoses since November.

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