Two Tennessee health systems have put stricter restrictions in place due to continued widespread flu.

The Mountain City Tomahawk reports that Mountain States Health Alliance and Wellmont Health System have increased visitation restrictions at all their hospitals due to the severity of this year’s flu season.

The systems have asked that people with flu-like symptoms and anyone younger than 18 years old to not visit family or friends in the hospital, and have also limited visits to no more than two adults per patient.

According to the report, Jamie Swift, director of infection prevention at Mountain States, says this is a level of restriction the health service has not done before, but says they match restrictions being used in many other parts of the country.

The report indicates that the predominant flu strain this season is H3N2, which is the most severe strain of flu. This year’s flu shot is not a perfect match for the strain, so people may become sick when they are exposed the virus, even if they received a flu shot. As a result, flu volumes have been extremely high. Since the start of flu season on Oct. 1, Mountain States and Wellmont hospitals recorded more than 1,650 positive flu cases, compared to about 350 during the same time period last flu season.

Johnson City Press reports that so far at Mountain States Health Alliance, six deaths have been reported from flu this season.  If you have not been vaccinated, officials encourage you to get vaccinated. Sift said that those who have had the vaccine but still get the flu, actually have a milder illness.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services say 21 people died from the flu last week and four more deaths in previous weeks were determined to be flu-related. For the 2017-18 flu season, 67 people have died in the state. Of the 67 deaths, 42 were ages 65 and older, 18 victims were 50 to 64 years old, and four were from 25 to 49. The remaining three were listed as pediatric deaths.

The last two weekly reports show flu widespread over the entire continental United States, which is unusual.