NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The Tennessee Department of Health is urging all Tennesseans who have not yet received the flu vaccine this flu season to get a flu shot as soon as possible, as seasonal influenza cases are increasing across the state.
County health departments are holding special “Fight Flu TN” flu vaccine events in every county Nov. 19 to increase the number of people vaccinated across the state.
No appointments are needed to receive a flu shot during these events. Event hours and details will vary from county to county.
“It’s important for everyone in Tennessee to get a flu vaccine, as we’ve seen an increase in seasonal flu activity in Tennessee in recent weeks and expect it to be around for many more,” Tennessee Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey said. “Vaccination is still the best protection we have against this serious and potentially deadly illness.”
TDH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a yearly flu vaccine for everyone ages 6 months and older. It’s especially important for pregnant women to get flu shots to protect themselves and their unborn children, as flu is more likely to cause severe illness in pregnant women.
Most people with the flu will experience symptoms such as fever, cough, congestion and body aches, and will recover on their own after about a week. However, infants, the elderly and people with certain medical conditions are at highest risk of severe complications from the flu.
The flu virus is highly contagious, so it’s important for people who are sick to stay home and avoid contact with others until their symptoms have resolved to help prevent further spread of the illness. This includes staying away from work, school and other public places while ill.
Follow these additional tips to protect your family and others from the flu:
- Use “respiratory etiquette” by coughing into your elbow or a tissue instead of your hands
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand rub
- Routine cleaning and disinfection in the home and workplace are important to reduce flu risks