KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Flu is now circulating in the community according to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. While flu numbers are still low across the state, doctors say now is the time to protect yourself from seasonal illness.

Since October, ETCH has treated nearly 30 patients who tested positive for flu with most of those being treated the week of Thanksgiving. Flu season is always unpredictable, but numbers of cases do tend to increase after the holidays, in part because people are traveling and gathering together.

Signs/symptoms of flu

  • A sudden fever
  • Chills and body aches
  • Headache
  • Being more tired than usual
  • Sore throat
  • Dry cough

Adults over age 65 and young children, especially babies who can’t be vaccinated, are at higher risk for contracting life-threatening complications of the flu. Any child who has a chronic medical condition like asthma, cancer, diabetes or heart problems is also at high risk for complications.

Complications of flu

  • Pneumonia
  • Bronchitis
  • Sinus and ear infections
  • Dehydration

If you are able to receive a flu vaccine, ETCH says to do it. It will protect you and those around you who may not be able to be vaccinated. The vaccine takes two weeks to become effective.