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Flu infection on rise nationally, but not in East Tennessee

SUE GUINN LEGG, Johnson City Press • Nov 30, 2012 at 11:56 AM

After an extremely mild flu season last year, confirmed cases of influenza infection are climbing rapidly nationwide and expected to reach the epidemic level well in advance of the peak of flu season that typically occurs in January or February.

In North Carolina, 77 confirmed cases of flu and two flu-related deaths since October have public health officials in that state expressing concern as to whether the early and rapid climb of influenza infection is an indication of a particularly harsh flu season to come or merely an early peak.

In Tennessee, where flu data is not collected comprehensively but at “sentinel” health care offices dispersed across the state, the flu has been confirmed in more than 2 percent of patients tested in West Tennessee and in the Knoxville area, although “not a lot” in Northeast Tennessee, said Dr. David Kirschke, medical director of the Northeast Regional Health Office in Johnson City.

Read the full story on the Johnson City Press website.

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