Peak flu season arrives in Hamilton County - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

EYE ON HEALTH

Peak flu season arrives in Hamilton County

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

County health officials said they hope Hamilton County has seen the peak of flu season. They said the season peaked earlier than anticipated, and they're expecting to see the number of cases decrease soon.

The flu circulating our area is H3N2. It is considered a dominate season, meaning if you are infected you will feel more severe symptoms.

The flu is hitting the Tennessee Valley hard this year, but health officials say relief is coming. “The flu has started to run into people who are indeed vaccinated or who have already have the flu and they can no longer become infected. The flu is now going to leave our area,” said Sharon Goforth with the Hamilton County Public Health Department.

Over 900 cases of flu were reported in Hamilton County alone last week. “Here locally, those numbers are starting to fall off. So what we are hoping has happened is we have peaked, and we are now going to see that downward trend and that downward trend will continue.”

Peak season has likely already hit, but flu season can last until April or May. Sharon Goforth is reminding people it is never too late to get a flu shot. “The flu is going to continue to be out there. It may not be in large numbers but we know it is still out there. You still run the risk of coming into contact with someone who still truly has the flu and becoming infected yourself.”

If you become infected, hydrating is key. Goforth said soup and drinks are important. If people around you are sick, there is one key step to staying healthy. “Make sure you are having as little contact you need to have with your household members because you don't want them to become infected. If you are sick, everybody needs to be wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands.”

The Hamilton County Health Department offers flu shots for $35. A spokesperson said if you can't afford that, they will work with you so you don't leave the department without being vaccinated. ?

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