At least four people have died recently from flu-related illnesses at UT Medical Center, according to a hospital spokesperson.

This season, UT Medical Center has treated 175 flu cases so far, which is actually down a little from last year. But it's more that the two flu seasons before that.

East Tennessee Children's Hospital is reporting no flu-related deaths, and a fairly typical flu season. In 2012, the flu hit earlier, with 370 cases at Children's in December, but only 64 in January of 2013. This flu season, there were 218 cases in December with 206 so far in January.

Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville is reporting 17 flu deaths. The Tennessean reported that this year's outbreak has also sent at least 498 Middle Tennesseans to the hospital, which is worse than last flu season.

Tennessee's peak flu months are usually January and February, even though flu season can stretch from late fall to spring.

Health officials say getting a flu shot is still the best protection from the virus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that most people over the age of 6 months get a flu shot.

Heath officials say it's not too late to get a vaccine, and always remember to take good-health precautions.

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