Flu season coming early this year
CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – The flu season is only 3 weeks old, and Erlanger Health System is reporting 112 influenza-like cases to the Hamilton County Health Department.
That compares to only 37 cases over the same period last year.
Dr. Steven Cooper is the medical director of Erlanger’s Community Health Centers.
He says after this spike in cases, he wants area residents to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
He says getting the vaccine is helpful, because it may reduce the severity or the duration of flu symptoms.
“There are a large population of people who are un-vaccinated.”
“One single patient who has the flu can transmit the virus very easily…however, if you’re vaccinated the flu may not take a foothold in you and therefore you might not be able to transmit it to your sick grandmother or your toddler.”
Getting a flu shot also protects other vulnerable populations of the community such as young children, pregnant patients and the elderly.