County officials say the last week has seen an uptick in the number of new cases, though they have not released exact numbers. "The FDA is carefully monitoring the situation and we will provide updates as needed", Gottlieb said. Most of today's vaccine is produced by growing flu virus in chicken eggs.
Still, the CDC is urging people to get the vaccine, stating that even though the flu shot is not 100 percent effective, it can still lessen the chance that someone catches it by 10% to 60%.
Before this season, the most flu deaths seen locally since 2012 was six.
The state's fourth pediatric death, including the first in the birth to age 4 category, was among the 34 victims from last week. As a result, there's little commercial incentive to invent a flu vaccine that works well against every possible strain of the disease.
The U.S. child death count from influenza was at 53 as of February 2, and hospitalization rates were at the highest in almost a decade.
The Tennessee Department of Health reported that seven people have died from the flu in the state.
"It is not too late to get vaccinated", said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive for MDHHS.
"We don't track adult deaths per se nationally, but we do know that healthy adults die from flu", said Frankovich. Additionally, the vaccine effectiveness for A (H3N2) has generally been lower than other strains. Or perhaps we're all better off getting sick once and a while. Anyone who experiences more severe symptoms such as trouble breathing, pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen, difficulty eating or drinking, or confusion should contact their health care provider or seek emergency care.
Along with the vaccine, she says frequent hand-washing could also help prevent the spread of the flu.
Symptoms of the flu can include a sudden onset of fever, dry cough, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, sore throat and nasal congestion or stuffiness, according to DHEC. However, it can lead to serious illness and death.
The Department of Health and Human Services also stresses that it's very important that antiviral drugs are used early to treat hospitalized patients, people with severe flu illness, and people who are at higher risk for flu complications based on their age or underlying medical conditions.