Urgent cares stay busy as flu cases surge in Tennessee
SMYRNA, Tenn. (WSMV) - Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show flu cases have reached dangerous levels across Tennessee.
A CDC map of the spread of influenza shows Tennessee is one of just seven states with flu activity in the “high” category.
“(We’re) running lots and lots of tests, giving a lot of vaccinations trying to keep everybody safe and healthy. We are busy,” Candice Marbach, a physician assistant at American Family Care in Smyrna, said.
Marbach said Monday she saw the most flu patients for far this season. She’s encouraging the public to get a flu shot now because they take two weeks to take full effect.
“I think what’s particularly concerning this year is that you are at risk of both contracting the flu and COVID at the same time, which is a pretty scary thought for all of us,” Marbach said. “I’m a huge advocate for preventive medicine so I’m very passionate about the flu and the COVID vaccination because I would rather see you for a well visit than a sick visit.”
Marbach has seen many flu patients first-hand and said the most common symptoms she’s seen are fever, sore throat, headaches and fatigue. Gastrointestinal symptoms can also be common, according to Marbach.
American Family Care released these facts related to getting a flu shot:
- A flu shot, recommended for anyone 6 months of age or older, can not only protect you from getting the flu, but it also prevents you from dying of the flu-related illnesses.
- Most experts think flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when someone with flu coughs, sneezes or talks. They can infect you from six feet away, just like COVID-19.
- Children under the age of 6, pregnant women and adults 65 or older are at high risk for serious flu complications like inflammation of the heart, brain or muscle tissues or multi-organ failure.
- People can carry the virus and risk exposing others when they show little symptoms.
- With the anticipated resurgence of the flu combined with the vexing string of COVID-19 variants, health experts are also concerned about the possibility of a “twindemic.” AFC providers said it is safe to get a flu vaccine and a COVID-19 vaccine or booster at the same time.
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