Flu cases back on the rise in the Tri-Cities

TRI-CITIES, TN (WJHL) – Doctors say just because it’s spring, doesn’t mean you’re in the clear when it comes to the flu.

Health officials in the area are seeing another increase in flu cases around the region.

The first week of April is typically when flu season starts to drop off.

But Jamie Swift, Corporate Director of Infection Prevention for Mountain States Health Alliance, is warning you not to drop your guard just yet.

“Usually by the first of April our flu numbers have really started decreasing. And so right now we’re kind of sustaining between 150 to 200 cases a week, which is a little high for this time of year,” Swift said.

After a slight decrease in flu cases two weeks ago, the numbers are on the rise again.

“They’ve actually started going back up. So we’re not as high as we were at our peak, but we’re certainly not in a full downward swing yet,” Swift explained.

Last week, MSHA saw 186 flu cases in the emergency departments. That’s compared to 168 cases the week before.

Swift said it could be due to a number of reasons. “We’ve seen circulation prolonged, which that could be a variety of things certainly you know if people are sick and continuing to be out and about.”

Hawkins County Schools was one of the systems that closed for a couple of days back in february due to illness.

“At that time our attendance rates were under 90-percent,” said Greg Sturgill, Superintendent of Attendance.

Since returning from spring break two weeks ago, roughly 20 students have missed school due to the flu.

Schools are taking precautions to make sure students are informed on how to stay healthy.

“There’s always safety guidelines posted on how to wash their hands and do it correctly. we have a school nurse at the schools that goes over things with the students,” Sturgill said.

Which Swift said is one of the best ways to keep yourself healthy.

“Washing your hands, covering your cough, keeping your children home if they’re sick,” she said.

Doctors say if you haven’t already, it’s still not too late to get a flu shot.

Copyright 2017 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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