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Published: Fri, December 30, 2016
Health | By Constance Griffith

Flu cases explode Middle Tennessee

Flu cases explode Middle Tennessee

Some 658 flu-related hospitalizations have been reported so far this flu season.

This is the first major outbreak since winter began, and the flu season can last until as late as May, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Influenza was declared prevalent in NY on Wednesday by the state Health Department.

The flu can be a serious threat to your health, but you can protect yourself by getting a flu shot, health experts say. That means health care workers not vaccinated yet must wear masks around patients.

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A major flu outbreak in Middle Tennessee has medical professionals urging people to get vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Flu season occurs primarily from October through May, often peaking in February.

People can still get flu shots, the health department said, but nasal spray is not recommended this year. Since the flu virus can spread through coughing or sneezing, it is also important that family members and people who regularly come into contact with children, older adults and other individuals at higher risk get a flu shot.

Flu vaccines are available at doctors' offices and pharmacies. "Singing the happy birthday song twice through- i know that sounds like a lot but that's really the amount of time that it takes to make sure you're killing all those germs and bacteria." said Katie Goddeyne, with the Mesa County Health Department.

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