NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A
representative from the Tennessee Department of Health reported Monday
evening a pregnant woman has died in association with seasonal
influenza. This is the fourth report of death associated with the flu in
the 2017-2018 season, after three children also died from the illness.
Bill Christian with the Department of Health said the department could
not provide any additional information about any of the cases or
patients, but that the department expressed "our deepest condolences to
Christian said children and pregnant women are among the groups of
people at highest risk for complications from the seasonal flu.
"Flu activity is now widespread across Tennessee and the U.S., and we
urge anyone over the age of six months old who has not yet had a flu
vaccination this flu season to get one now," Christian said.
Here are best health habits that could help to prevent the flu:
• Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water or use an alcohol based hand
• Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
• Stay home if you are sick
The Knox County Health Department encouraged residents to follow basic
precautions to slow the spread of the flu virus and stay healthy.
"Many area hospitals are reporting a sharp increase in traffic in their
emergency departments due to flu, respiratory illness and other
conditions," KCHD Director Dr. Martha Buchanan said. "First and
foremost, it's important for the public to know it's not too late to get
a flu vaccine if they haven't already this season. It's also important
that our community have information on both how to avoid infection as
well as what to do if they get the flu, including when to go to the
KCHD said they would be providing free flu vaccinations while supplies
last at all three locations: the main location, 140 Dameron Avenue, West
Clinic, 1028 Old Cedar Bluff Rd., and Teague Clinic, 405 Dante Rd.
Appointments can be made by calling 865-215-5070. Clinics are open 8
a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Free flu vaccinations only
apply to the standard flu shot, not the high-dose version recommended
for those over 65 years old.
The KCHD released the following flu guidelines:
• If someone is mildly ill with flu symptoms, he or she should not go to
the emergency room. Hospital emergency departments should be reserved
for those who are severely ill or injured.
• The following mild flu symptoms usually do not require treatment at an
emergency room: runny nose or nasal stuffiness, low-grade fever for less
than three days, mild headache, body aches, or stomach upset. Instead of
visiting the emergency room, call your health care provider or seek care
at a walk-in clinic.
• Limit visits to friends and relatives in the hospital. Postpone visits
to the hospital to protect patients, staff and yourself from the flu. If
you must visit, check with the hospital first to see if any visitor
restrictions have been established.