MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Shelby County Health Department is urging people to get their flu shots after recent data shows over 2,800 Shelby County residents reported flu like illnesses in the last week of 2019.
Officials say this these numbers are three times more than the next highest county.
The flu is not an illness that gets reported but anyone with symptoms should get treated.
“It’s during flu season, we know there’s flu circulating,” Director of The Shelby County Health Department Alisa Haushalter told WREG’s Peter Fleischer. “If an individual shows up with flu-like symptoms, we’re going to make reasonable assumption that it’s like the flu.”
Data provided by the state shows the flu is up across the board. Officials are seeing a 5% increase from this time last year.
The Shelby County Health Department has some tips they want people to know about in order to stay healthy.
“It’s critical you wash your hands throughout the day. Particularly if you’re shaking hands or you’re around someone that is ill. Nowadays, there are anti-flu medications, anti-virals and many more than there were years ago,” Haushalter explained.
State health officials confirm two children have died from the flu: one in Middle Tennessee and one in East Tennessee.
Health officials are reminding people to stay home if they are sick.
The Shelby County Health Department offers free flu vaccines five days a week. We have a list of locations here.