MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - As the number of flu-related deaths continues to rise across the state, officials with the Shelby County Health Department want to remind people it's not too late to get a flu shot.
So far this season, ten children have died from the flu in Tennessee.
The peak of this season happened around late December, but experts say it could increase again.
Data from the Tennessee Department of Health shows Shelby County leading the way in reports of flu-like illnesses across the state.
The most recent data from Jan. 19-25, show more than 1,700 emergency room visits in Shelby County related to flu-like illnesses... that's more than four times the amount of Davidson County.
Health Officer Bruce Randolph says that could be for a number of reasons...one being location.
"Where we're located we're a regional medical center and so we draw people from Arkansas and from Mississippi,” said Bruce Randolph, Shelby County Health Department health officer.
Randolph says just because someone goes to the ER in Shelby County doesn't necessarily mean they live here, too.
Another thing to keep in mind, health experts don't track the number of confirmed flu cases -- they do look at the number of patients who report flu-like symptoms.
"The flu-like illnesses can actually be the flu, but also upper respiratory infections such as just a regular cold or something,” said Randolph.
Health officials say this season there has been more flu activity than the past two seasons -- with a spike in towards the end of December.
Just last week, a West Collierville Middle School closed for two days after district leaders said more than 400 students were absent due to flu-like symptoms.
Here’s a list of Shelby County clinics where you can get a free shot:
- Cawthon Public Health Clinic
- Collierville Public Health Clinic
- Hickory Hill Public Health Clinic
- Immunization Clinic
- Millington Public Health Clinic
- Packer STD/HIV Clinic
- Shelby Crossing Public Health Clinic
- Southland Mall Public Health Clinic
- Tuberculosis Clinic