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Four flu deaths confirmed in Tennessee

Rare type of flu particularly affecting children
Posted at 10:49 AM, Jan 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-15 11:49:36-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Tennessee Department of Health has confirmed at least four flu deaths across the state.

The department said Wednesday that two deaths occurred in Middle Tennessee, while two more were confirmed in the eastern part of the state. However, only influenza deaths involving pediatric patients and pregnant women are reportable in Tennessee.

The flu vaccine is still available at most local health departments while supplies last.

The CDC reports there have been twice as many pediatric flu deaths so far this year than at the same time last year.

There's been a shift in the predominant strain, which is usually influenza A. This year it's influenza B, and influenza B tends to affect children more. The last time influenza B was the predominant strain of the flu was the 1992-93 season.