Health Team

More young people die of flu in NC

Posted January 2, 2014
Updated January 9, 2014

— Cases of the flu jumped in North Carolina in December, and 13 people have died from the flu virus, according to data from the state Department of Health and Human Services. Five of those deaths occurred last week.

Of the 13 flu deaths in the state, all but one have been younger than age 65. Seven were between 25 and 49; five were between 50 and 64. At the same point last year, 18 people had died of the virus.

"People over a certain age tend to have a little bit more protection against H1N1, because they were exposed to similar viruses in the past or were vaccinated against similar viruses in the past," said Dr. Zach Moore, with the N.C. Division of Public Health.

Moore advises people to get a flu shot, even though it takes two weeks to build up immunity.

WakeMed's emergency departments have seen 246 cases of the flu since Dec. 15. Most people can fight it at home with plenty of rest and Tylenol, but WakeMed emergency physician Dr. Graham Snyder says shortness of breath at rest may be a reason to call 911.

"You're sitting on the couch and can't breathe – that doesn't need to be at home, that's the kind of thing that I need to see you for," he said.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and DHHS recommend the flu vaccine for everyone over the age of 6 months. This year's vaccine includes protection for Influenza A and B, along with the H1N1 strain of the flu.

As a precaution against further spread of the flu virus, major hospital systems – UNC, Duke and Rex – are restricting visitors with cough, fever and other flu-like symptoms.

Flu symptoms

  • Fever
  • Coughing and/or sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Headaches and/or body aches
  • Chills
  • Fatigue

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  • atheistswillrule Jan 7, 2014

    -actually the earth rotates on its axis and revolves around the sun. It doesn't rotate around the sun. It is a brilliant design by an awesome Creator God.

    You DO know that the church tortured Galileo for stating that fact. It was once considered blasphemy. In fact, the bible states times when " the sun stood still and the moon stopped". I think the universe is amazing, but no " creator god" was responsible.

  • mafiamic Jan 3, 2014

    It doesn't say how many got the vaccination...I have never had the vaccination and I've lived in weather where it was ----- 0 and below for the high and if I do get the flu it is gone within 24 or so hours.
    Many people get sick from the vaccination then better.Check to see how many of the deaths got the vaccination before putting fear into people to go get it.

  • outhousecat Jan 3, 2014

    If the government is really serious about slowing the spread of flu, they would pass a law prohibiting retaliation against employees that stay out due to the flu.

    Believe it or not, hospitals have some of the worst punishments for calling in sick to work. They say stay out if you have flu symptoms or fever, but when you come back your supervisor is standing there with your write-up. So those angels of mercy that people rely on to care for them while they're sick are possibly much sicker and more contagious than their patients.
    Go figure.

  • 678devilish Jan 3, 2014

    I see more and more why its very important to get the flu shots. Its not too late. I got my flu shot. Another thing, if you are feeling bad etc. please stay home and not pass your stuff all around to everybody. Call in to your job and tell your supervisor by phone. BUT STAY HOME FOR THE WELFARE FOR OTHERS AND YOURSELF. THANKS.

  • InterestedNurse Jan 3, 2014

    I work in ICU. I've seen very young (20's, 30's), otherwise healthy people die of the flu over the last few years. The flu isn't what it used to is a full on repiratory assault. I'm talking weeks-months on a ventilator which in turn has it's own draw-backs to include immobility leading to rehab, possible trach and more. I never used to get a flu shot, but after seeing these people suffer and sometimes die, day in and day out, I choose to get one now. If that is the chance you want to take, it is your decision to make. I wish I could walk people through the ICU and show then what can happen when you chose to opt out. :-(

  • icdmbpppl Jan 3, 2014

    Rushbot--actually the earth rotates on its axis and revolves around the sun. It doesn't rotate around the sun. It is a brilliant design by an awesome Creator God.

  • froggygirl Jan 2, 2014

    Nauti-dog needs to check his history. The 1918 flu was extraordinarily deadly. In New York, young healthy people got up in the morning and went to work, then dropped dead on the subway that evening. Yes, it could happen again.

  • sjb2k1 Jan 2, 2014

    "selfish people who choose to not stay home when they are sick."

    i don't disagree that if you're sick you should stay home but some people don't have that option.

  • Right Is Wrong Jan 2, 2014

    It is time for FORCED vaccinations of the populace!

    Mr. Hans ----------------------

    Ummmm.....NO. I won't let you force a needle in my arm. Now what?

    We'll find you a nice island to live on or maybe New Mexico. Have a good trip!

  • kidsrn Jan 2, 2014

    Thank you, Beth. I try, but there is still lots of room for improvement for sure! :-)