Third child dies from flu this season in Hamilton County

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) — According to the health department, a third child has died from the flu this season in Hamilton County.

At the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department, Sharon Goforth says they’ve seen changes compared to previous years when it comes to the flu.

“We have seemed to start our peak a little earlier this year in December. We normally don’t see that until January or February. So the peak cam a little bit sooner and we are seeing more pediatric cases. With the strain that has been most prevalent, it is one of the b strains and those seem to affect children more often. SO that has been a bit unusual for this year also,” Goforth said.

This flu season in Hamilton County, there has now been three flu deaths involving children. Health experts say there is automatically a concern about age groups.

“The lower end of the spectrum are children we get concerned about because their immune systems are just not that mature and our older adults our 65 and older age group. Plus anyone who has any underlying medical condition, heart condition, lung condition diabetics,” Goforth said.

In addition to getting the flu shot health experts say there are other ways you can stay safe, like washing your hands. They also want to remind people to use sanitizer and tissues if they are coughing and sneezing.

“Even though we see most of our flu activity during our cold winter months you can get flu anytime of the year. So you still have to be mindful of the fact that you could still be exposed if you are around someone who is exhibiting those flu like symptoms,” Goforth said.

It’s not too late to get the flu vaccine. Right now, this health department is offering them for free.

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