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Alamance child adds to steady climb in NC flu deaths

Posted January 23

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— At least six more flu-related deaths were reported in North Carolina last week, state health officials said Thursday, bringing the total this season to 33 statewide.

The figures, which run through Jan. 18, don't include an Alamance County child whose flu-related death was reported Wednesday.

"This is deeply saddening news, and we extend our thoughts and prayers to the family," Alamance County Health Director Barry Bass said in a statement.

One other child, an infant in eastern North Carolina, has died of the flu this season. Meanwhile, 15 people ages 25 to 49 have died of the flu, along with nine between ages 50 and 64 and eight people age 65 or older.

At this time last year, 41 people across the state had died of the flu. In 2011-12, there was only one flu-related death by mid-January.

"We're seeing a slightly different picture of the flu this year than last year," State Epidemiologist Dr. Megan Davies said. "The younger adults, the more vulnerable, those tend to be the people who tend to think they don't need a flu shot."

According to the latest state report, more than 300 people came down with the flu last week, with 280 of those suffering from the dangerous H1N1 strain.

The number of visits to hospital emergency rooms for flu-like symptoms declined last week, the report said, but the number of visits to physician offices and outpatient clinics increased.

High levels of flu activity are expected over the coming weeks as flu season typically peaks during January and February.

The best protection against the flu is a flu shot, which is available for anyone 6 months old or older. It takes at least two weeks to build up a full immunity against the virus.

Hand-washing, coughing into your sleeve and keeping a safe distance from people with flu symptoms are practical ways to help prevent the spread of the flu.

35 Comments

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  • cozy813 Jan 24, 11:56 a.m.

    So my question is...I have gotten the flu shot, I am 37, very healthy and I have gotten the flu. What can be done to prevent death? I am not quite understanding why all these young, healthy people are dying. Are they just not getting the treatment they need right away and letting it go until it gets so out of control and past the point of any treatment? Thanks for any insight.

  • scubagirl2 Jan 23, 6:59 p.m.

    Not getting the shot is not only potentially harmful to YOU it is also potentially harmful to ME if you get the flu and then share it......It's just crazy to me those who refuse. Interestedrn has excellent points, I too saw similar when I worked in ICU......

  • InterestedNurse Jan 23, 6:10 p.m.

    I work in a hospital...intensive care unit specifically. I wish I could walk those who are refusing to be immunized through the ICU so they could witness just how many previously WELL (no comorbidities), YOUNG (20-40) people are suffering and/or dying as a result of the flu this year. It is truely terrifying. If you aren't going to get the flu shot for yoruself, get it to prevent potential spread to your friends and family. No one deserves to watch their friend or family member die that way.

  • Mr. Hans Jan 23, 4:24 p.m.

    I have had one flu shot in the last 10 years, guess what, that's the year I got sick. I won't be... View More

    — Posted by phathermike

    A quick Google search will get you the information you've requested...sort of.

    Other articles... View More

    — Posted by kikinc

    It should be mandatory for all.

  • kikinc Jan 23, 4:15 p.m.

    I have had one flu shot in the last 10 years, guess what, that's the year I got sick. I won't be... View More

    — Posted by phathermike

    A quick Google search will get you the information you've requested...sort of.

    Other articles state that most of those who died didn't receive the flu shot.

    I don't know how I feel about the flu shot. This was my first year getting it because it became mandatory as a condition of my job, but I've never had the flu. I guess we'll see what happens.

  • phathermike Jan 23, 3:22 p.m.

    I have had one flu shot in the last 10 years, guess what, that's the year I got sick. I won't be getting another one.

    All these reports of flu deaths and not ONE mention of how many of those had received the vaccination. I still believe that if none of them had received it THAT would be the headline.

  • Mr. Hans Jan 23, 3:11 p.m.

    Steady climb, folks. I pray you were all smart enough to get the flu shot for yourselves and your family

  • corgimom06 Jan 23, 2:49 p.m.

    I was coming out of the gym the other day where I was,sunny but 11 degrees -6 WC and rolled up... View More

    — Posted by mafiamic

    Cold weather does not cause you to get the sniffles, a cold or the flu. The reason viruses like this are more prevalent in the winter is because we spend more time indoors, around other people and so the viruses can be transmitted easier. You have to come in contact with either the rhinovirus or influenza virus to get sick. In fact, if you are sick it's better to open some windows, let some fresh air in even if it's cold.

  • mafiamic Jan 23, 2:05 p.m.

    I was coming out of the gym the other day where I was,sunny but 11 degrees -6 WC and rolled up the sleeves of my sweatshirt.
    Still no flu shot or sniffles or sneezes or chills or whatever comes with this flu thing?

  • innocent bystander 3 Jan 23, 1:00 p.m.

    Last year at this time there were 35 deaths from the flu so this years' deaths are down. Also,... View More

    — Posted by jamesjohnson391

    Actually, I think it does. The 2013-2014 seasonal trivalent flu vaccine protects against H1N1, H3N2, and an influenza B virus. They are usually pretty accurate at predicting the prevalent strains each year.

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