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Posted on: December 21, 2018

Significant Increase in Flu-like Illness in Shelby County

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Significant Increase in Flu-like Illness in Shelby County

The Health Department Strongly Recommends Flu Vaccine  

SHELBY COUNTY, TN – The Shelby County Health Department reports a significant increase in the number of influenza-like illnesses in Shelby County this week, an indication that seasonal influenza is spreading in our community.

Emergency department data is retrieved from the Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-based Epidemics (ESSENCE-TN). The data shows the numbers of people reporting influenza-like symptoms at Shelby County hospital emergency departments increased by almost 300 percent this week.

“The data indicate that seasonal influenza activity has begun to increase in Shelby County and is expected to peak in January or February,” said Shelby County Health Department Director, Dr. Alisa Haushalter. “We strongly encourage everyone who is sick with a fever and flu-like symptoms to stay home in order to prevent spreading illness to others. Practicing good hygiene by washing hands frequently and covering coughs also helps prevent the spread of the flu. And it is not too late to get the seasonal flu vaccine, if you have not yet been vaccinated.”

The Health Department is offering FREE influenza vaccination at all public health clinics, while supplies last. The vaccine is available at the following locations, no appointment necessary, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday, unless otherwise specified:

Cawthon Public Health Clinic

1000 Haynes, 38114 

Collierville Public Health Clinic (Tuesday and Thursday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)

167 Washington St., 38017 

Hickory Hill Public Health Clinic

6590 Kirby Center Cove, 38118

Immunization Clinic

814 Jefferson, Rm. 216, 38105 

Millington Public Health Clinic

8225 Highway 51 North, 38053

Packer Clinic

814 Jefferson, Room 221, 38105

Shelby Crossing Public Health Clinic

6170 Macon Road, 38133

Southland Mall Public Health Clinic

1287 Southland Mall, 38116

Annual vaccination against influenza is recommended for everyone six months and older, and is especially recommended for the following individuals:

  • Pregnant women
  • People 50 years of age and older
  • People of any age with chronic medical conditions, including asthma and other lung diseases, heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes
  • People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
  • People who care for those at high risk for complications from influenza, including:
  1. Health care workers;
  2. Household contact of persons at high risk for complications from influenza;
  3. Household contacts and caregivers of children less than six months of age.

The flu vaccine contains inactivated virus, so it cannot cause flu illness. Side effects from the vaccination are usually short-term and mild, and may include soreness at the injection site, low-grade fever, and body aches.

For more information about influenza, please visit our influenza activity webpage at http://www.shelbytnhealth.com/375/Flu-Activity-in-Shelby-County.

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