Flu cases on the rise - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Flu cases on the rise

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - Thousands have already gotten the flu vaccine, but state health departments are urging everyone to get vaccinated.

This comes after nearly 30,000 cases have been reported with widespread cases in 32 out of 50 states, including Tennessee and Georgia.       

Vaccines are made every year several months before the flu season even starts.

One of the strains added to this year's vaccine mutated and is not working as effectively.

"It seems like here lately we're hearing more and more about the flu. Not just in this area, but throughout the state," said Connie Buecker.

However Buecker with the Hamilton County Health Department says while the vaccine might not keep you from getting the flu, it isn't useless.

"Even though it isn't matching the current strain, they can help. They can make the flu less severe," said Buecker.

So far, across the nation, 28,218 cases have been reported to the CDC and more are expected.

"Whether it's peaked yet, I would venture to say probably not," said Buecker.

Currently in Tennessee influenza-like illness activity is above CDC epidemic thresholds with confirmed cases in 44 of 95 counties.

Surrounding states are also dealing with epidemic-level flu-cases, and with everyone traveling for the holidays there is a possibility it could spread even more.

"Everybody should just stay home if you're sick and wash your hands frequently," said Buecker.

If you begin to feel sick, Buecker says you should go to the doctor.

For a list of flu symptoms from the CDC, click here. To track the illness through flu season, click here.

It's not too late to get your flu vaccination; you can get them at the health department or any local drug store.

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