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The Great Smoky Mountain Journal

Source:  Fox News

Posted: Tuesday, January 01, 2019 02:30 PM

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UT Medical Center Reported Six Deaths From Flu In January

The University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville reported six deaths from the flu in January.

A representative with the hospital said all six patients had multiple co-morbidities.

23.8 percent of the specimens tested for the flu in the state were positive, according to officials. UT Medical's report also stated that 61 of Tennessee's 95 counties have had at least one resident with the flu in recent weeks.

A representative from the Tennessee Department of Health said Thursday they had received reports of six pediatric deaths and the death of one pregnant woman associated with seasonal flu in Tennessee this season.

"We are still urging people who have not yet had a flu vaccination this season to get one as soon as possible," TDOH spokesperson Bill Christian said. "Our county health department clinics are providing flu vaccines at no charge to patients until vaccine supplies are depleted. Flu vaccines are also widely available from a number of other health care providers."

According to the TDOH, the pregnant woman died in Middle Tennessee, three children have died in Middle Tennessee, and three children have died in East Tennessee.

TDOH only keeps records of flu-related deaths of children and pregnant women.

Health care professionals list the following as ways to prevent flu in family:

- Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water or use an alcohol based hand sanitizer
- Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Stay home if you are sick