Flu season seems to be slowing down

By: Jessa Goddard
By: Jessa Goddard

KNOXVILLE (WVLT) – While the flu is still widespread in Tennessee, if you take a closer look at the numbers, it looks like the season is slowing down.

Most East Tennessee counties are still reporting new cases, but they have dropped off significantly.

According to medical professionals, flu season is made up of peaks and valleys which vary slightly from county to county.

In Knox County, there were 374 new flu cases last week, compared to 737 new cases the week before, indicating that flu season in Knox has hit its peak.

"We're beginning to trend down,” said Dr. Martha Buchanan, a Knox County Public Health Officer. “Once we see that trend occurring two weeks in a row, then we'll feel comfortable saying that the flu rate is going down."

Flu counts have also leveled off across the region.

The following are the counts from last week:

-Anderson County- 53 new cases
-Blount County- 155 new cases
-Campbell County- 45 new cases
-Loudon County- 45 new cases
-Sevier County- 47 new cases
-Union County- 18 new cases

What has most complicated this year’s flu season is how poorly the vaccine preformed.

"The increase from last year could be related to the fact that there's a little bit of a mismatch from the vaccine, certainly we could see more cases of the flu when that happens,” Dr. Buchanan said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, has only been affective against 40 percent of this year's flu viruses.

It is too soon to know whether this will prove to be a bad flu season overall, because flu season doesn't officially end in East Tennessee until April.

Thankfully it is expected to end on time.

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