Health Officials Are Calling This Flu Season Moderately Severe

NASHVILLE., Tenn - Health officials have called this flu season moderately severe. At least 39 children have died from flu-related complications in at least 25 states and that number is expected to rise.

In Tennessee, one pregnant woman has died and six pediatric deaths have occurred including three in the Mid-State. 

It's unclear the specific ages of the kids but the state's Department of Health defines a pediatric patient as an 18-year-old or younger.

"Even if a vaccinated child gets the flu they're less likely to die of the flu than a child who is not vaccinated," TN Immunization Program Director Dr. Kelly Moore said.

Moore said this season’s vaccine protects against four different strains of the flu and all four (two-Type As and two-Type Bs) are in Tennessee. Type A H3N2 being the most common.

"Look for signs and symptoms of a high fever, a cough, body aches. If they don't have an appetite, they're not drinking, they're not going to the bathroom at least once every 8 hours or so or if they're getting dehydrated," she said.

Moore recommended consult with your physician to see if the prescribed antiviral drug Tamiflu is needed. 

The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention is expected to release how effective this season's vaccine is in the United States this month. 

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