Cookeville Regional Medical Center Closes Doors to Young Visitors
by Jason Lamb
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- The Cookeville Regional Medical Center said its banning visitors under the age of 16 will hopefully stop the flu virus from spreading.
The center says its already seen 15 cases of flu this year, and they say usually they don't see that many until after Christmas. Now they say they are putting the policy in place earlier than ever before.
"That's because school age children have a much higher incidents and attack rate of flu," said Dr. Mark Pierce with the center.
At the Putnam County Health Department, folks there are responding to the flu outbreak by offering free flu shots through the state.
Usually they cost between $10-25.
Monday, people were walking in to get their free flu shots at a rate of about 15 every hour.
Some of those people had never received a flu shot before, but were there because they heard how bad the flu outbreak was in neighboring Overton county, where schools were closed Monday because of the flu outbreak.
The health department says that's exactly who they want to see in their offices getting flu shots.
"The health department has plenty of flu vaccine on hand so were really trying to push the public to get the flu shot," said Lisa Bumbalough, the health department director.
The health department says it takes about two weeks for a flu shot to start protecting you.