Flu Season Starts Early This Year

Posted at 6:59 PM, Dec 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-20 19:59:25-05

The signs of illness have been happening all over the Mid-State, and some schools have really been feeling the impact.

Williamson County was one of the school districts being affected by sickness. In fact, many of those students were out sick Wednesday from a number of illnesses.

A spokesperson at Williamson County Schools said they're experiencing lower than average attendance at four of their 25 elementary schools. 

Parents have been reporting a variety of illnesses including the flu, strep throat, and a stomach virus.
William Schaffner, an infectious diseases doctor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said the amount of people coming down with the flu has picked up within the last week. Dr. Shaffner added the flu season started earlier than usual this year.

Dr. Schaffner said if you haven't received your flu shot yet, it's not too late.

"If you haven't gotten vaccinated yet, run. Do not walk to your doctors office, pharmacy, clinic, wherever and get the vaccine. The vaccine is still the single best way to prevent influenza," said Dr. Schaffner.

Dr. Shaffner said the vaccine was not perfect, but if you do end up getting the flu, you will have a milder case.

Several people have already been hospitalized from flu complications in Middle Tennessee.