East Tennessee Children's Hospital seeing more flu cases

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) - The flu is at a high in East Tennessee. Doctor's offices and hospitals in the area are dealing with an increase in sick patients. 

Dr. Ryan Redman of East Tennessee Children's Hospital says there is a surge of flu cases. In December, the hospital had 437 positive flu tests compared to only 44 that month in 2016.

Signs of the flu include a sudden fever, chills and body aches, headache, feeling tired, sore throat and dry cough. Symptoms can be much worse than a cold. 

People over 65-years-old and young children are more at risk for life-threatening complications. Babies can have a higher risk due to not being able to have the flu vaccine. 

Children with chronic conditions like asthma, cancer, diabetes or heart problems, can also be at risk. 

Complications of the flu can include: pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus and ear infections, and dehydration. 

Prevention

  • Get the flu vaccine
  • Wash your hands
  • Stay home if you or your children are sick 

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