Flu Season On Pace To Reach Highest Number Of Hospitalizations

Posted at 3:34 PM, Feb 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-12 17:11:40-05

The flu epidemic is suspected of causing two more deaths including a 5-year-old from New York and a 24-year-old from Las Vegas.

The Centers for Disease Control and prevention,which monitors the influenza virus said the rate of flu-related hospitalizations was approaching the highest amount on record. 

Several more weeks of increased flu activity could continue before the epidemic begins to subside said the CDC's acting director.

"If things continue like they are right now, we will have even more hospitalizations this year," said Dr. Anne Schuchat.

On Monday, officials with Vanderbilt University Medical Center released its flu numbers for the last six weeks.

From January 1 - February 10 doctors tested 2,118 people for flu - 282 tested positive for Influenza A and 83 tested positive for Influenza B.

According to the Tennessee Department of Health there have been seven pediatric deaths and one pregnancy-related death associated with the 2017-2018 flu season.

Health Department officials said free flu vaccines were still available at all TDH public health clinics.

To help stop people from getting sick, researchers from Columbia University recommend hospitals use special, ultraviolet light panels. 

The lamps can kill the virus while still remaining safe around people.  A total of 63 children have died so far from flu this season.