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10 kids, pregnant woman die from the flu in Tennessee

(CDC photo)

The flu has now claimed the lives of 10 children and a pregnant woman in Tennessee.

The Tennessee Department of Heath said Tuesday that 10 children and one pregnant woman have died from the flu so far this year in Tennessee. Nationally, 84 children have died from the flu.

"We continue to send our deepest condolences to the families who have lost a loved one due to influenza," a spokesman for the TDH said.

A free flu vaccine is still available at TDH public health clinics:

  • Nashville-Davidson County
  • Chattanooga-Hamilton County
  • Jackson-Madison County
  • Knoxville-Knox County
  • Memphis-Shelby County
  • Sullivan County

The TDH is urging people who are sick to stay home and prevent the spread of the illness.

ALSO SEE: My daughter had a seizure caused by the flu: What I learned

The CDC said Friday 43 states continue to report elevated influenza-like illness (ILI) activity. Tennessee remains among states reporting high activity levels of ILI.

This season started early and has been driven by a formidable type of flu that tends to put more people in the hospital and cause more deaths. Making a bad year worse, this year's flu vaccine is estimated to be only 25 percent effective against that type.

Preliminary data released last week indicated patient traffic in doctor's offices and emergency rooms this flu season was as bad as the height of the swine flu pandemic in 2009. However, the CDC readjusted its numbers down slightly in Friday's report, meaning this season did not quite match the intensity of flu activity seen in October 2009.

Still, it counts as one of the most intense flu seasons in more than a decade. Whether it's peaking or not, flu season is still expected to last several more weeks.

*The AP contributed to this report.

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