Widespread in nearly every part of the continental United States, the flu season has reached “epidemic levels” in the Tri-Cities region, according to Ballad Health CEO Alan Levine.
Ballad Health is asking children and adults with flu symptoms to stay away from its hospitals, as the flu season hits especially early and heavy.
Tennessee might be headed for an “unpredictable” and “challenging” flu season.
According to Washington County Health Department Director Christen Minnick, officials aren’t exactly sure what to expect after last year’s flu season caused several local school closures and hospitalizations.
After Elizabethton City Schools closed Thursday and Friday due to illness, there have been concerns about whether other surrounding districts in Northeast Tennessee would follow suit.
So many Washington County Schools faculty and staff members called in sick this week that the district canceled classes Friday.
The numbers were only from emergency departments and did not include figures from urgent care providers and private physician offices.
Area hospitals recorded more than 1,650 positive flu cases since the start of flu season Oct. 1, compared to about 350 during the same time period last year. That’s in keeping with national trends.
With supplies dwindling, area blood banks urgently need blood donations this January, recognized as National Blood Donor Month.
Influenza activity is now widespread in the Tri-Cities region. Just this week, both Mountain States Health Alliance and Wellmont Health System saw flu numbers drastically increase, prompting both health systems to place visitation restrictions at all hospitals in order to protect patients.
Early detection of the flu is an important part of keeping schools healthy, and one San Francisco-based company will be helping University School do just that.
Flu and similar illnesses have shuttered schools across NE Tennessee.
Those needle phobia sufferers may no longer have a choice when it comes to getting a flu vaccination this year.
It’s been a below-average winter flu season.