Dept. of Health: 3 TN chilrden dead of flu this season; 6 in 2014 calendar year

The seasonal scourge of the flu has claimed the lives of three children in Tennessee, the state’s Department of Health has revealed, reports the News Sentinel.

Two of the deaths were reported by hospitals in Middle Tennessee and the third was in East Tennessee, according to Shelley Walker, assistant director of media relations for the department. Walker said privacy regulations prevent her from revealing even what county the deaths occurred in, but all were in December.

These bring the childhood flu death toll for calendar year 2014 to six, she said.

A sampling of local hospitals indicates flu activity has been exceptionally heavy this season, and several schools closed temporarily because of pupil absences prior to the holiday break.

The state does not require hospitals to report adult flu deaths, Walker said, only those in children and pregnant women.

“We are expecting a severe flu season” she said in a phone interview Monday. “Every flu season is different, but we typically see 2-3 child deaths a year from the flu.”