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Five more flu deaths reported in NC

Posted January 9

Man getting temperature taken, possible flu case
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— Five people died of the flu in North Carolina last week, bringing the total number of flu-related deaths statewide this season to 21, public health officials said Thursday.

Thirteen of the 21 deaths have occurred in the last two weeks, officials state Department of Health and Human Services said. Earlier, five deaths were reported during the week that ended Dec. 28, but officials said they have now confirmed flu was the cause of death for three more people during the week.

All but two of the 21 flu-related deaths have been in young and middle-aged adults, most of whom had underlying medical conditions, officials said. The other two were in people over age 65.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Zack Moore said only two of the 21 people who died had received a flu shot, and officials don't know if the other two were immunized in time for the vaccine to become effective.

The predominant strain this year is H1N1, the same one that caused the 2009 pandemic that led to more than 100 deaths statewide. Moore noted, however, that this year's vaccine covers H1N1 while the shots given out five years ago didn't.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and DHHS recommend the flu vaccine for everyone over the age of 6 months, but Moore said convincing young adults to get a flu shot isn't easy.

"When we have a season like this with H1N1 being the main virus going around, we do have to try extra hard to reach those people and let them know that it's not just the elderly that are being affected," he said. "This is something that could be a serious problem for younger adults."

He added that he believes the actual number of flu deaths in North Carolina is far higher than 21, noting many flu-related deaths are never reported.

Flu season peaks in late January to mid-February. Most insurance companies cover the cost of a flu vaccine. Average prices at pharmacies and grocery stores are between $25 and $30.

Flu symptoms:

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

To help limit the spread of the virus, several local hospitals – UNC Hospitals, Rex Hospital, Duke University Medical Center and Cape Fear Valley Medical Center – are restricting access to certain visitors. In Fayetteville, for example, children under 12 aren't allowed to visit patients.

42 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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  • sullivanandsons Jan 10, 6:33 p.m.

    Flu shots make you an instant carrier. The mist is a live virus. Flu for profit. The government is totally in on it with Big Pharma lining the pockets of law makers. They don't tell you what a yearly dose of mercury can do to you. You'll need them to provide their drugs for that later.

  • N2theM8trix Jan 10, 2:10 p.m.

    I exhibited symptoms of a really bad cold on 12/30. I thought it was a cold because I was not funning a fever. By Thursday, January 9th, feeling worse than ever, I carried myself to the Urgent Clinic. I was diagnosed with Flu. Never once ran a fever. Dr. confirmed that they are seeing a lot of flu (without fever). I don't typically post, but this report does not include that information. Get to a Dr. and don't delay. If you feel flu symptoms, but you are not running a fever, it does not mean you do not have the flu. Thankfully, I am finally on the mend. 13 days later.

  • MissB Jan 10, 10:53 a.m.

    I got the flu shot this year and two months later got the flu. It was awful! So now I wonder what is the point in getting the flu shot if I'm still going to get the flu

  • spy109 Jan 10, 10:01 a.m.

    WRAL has failed to actually do any reporting here. They failed to ask if any of these flu victims got the flu shot and they failed to what strain of flu it was. All the info they provided I could just go get from the department website. WRAL is LAZY.

  • freedom monkey Jan 10, 9:29 a.m.

    Educate before you vaccinate. Dr. Sherry Tenpenny advocates against vaccines. Website to give you Scientific Facts against.

    http://vactruth.com

  • kikinc Jan 10, 9:19 a.m.

    I found some more information on another site...

    Out of the 21 deaths, 12 were between 25 and 49, 7 between 50 and 64, and 2 people were over 65. Most of those 21 deaths were in those who had other underlying medical issues.

    Out of the first 13 deaths, 8 did not have the flu vaccine.

    Not advocating either way, just throwing information out there. I've never had the flu, and this year was my first year getting the flu shot because it was mandatory where I work. We'll see what happens.

  • amdriver12 Jan 10, 8:25 a.m.

    Out ancestors also died from drinking non-treated water but I don't see you giving that up.

    How... View More

    — Posted by mafiamic



    My whole point in drawing those two parallels was you. Just because our ancestors did something for hundreds of years and 'got by' doesn't mean that's the best way to do it. So many of you would benefit from a basic education of how scientific research is conducted.

  • wayneboyd Jan 9, 6:17 p.m.

    In my opinion and reading between the lines in this and other drug commercials lies in the fact that this particular drug has a season just like the ilness. And the drug companies, pharmacys, and doctors have about 30 days left to capitolize on your fears. So go get one...hurry!

  • mafiamic Jan 9, 5:34 p.m.

    I usually do not get the flu shot, I did when I was pregnant and that's it. I have never had the flu, but I am also a germaphobe. I stay away from contact with sick people, do not touch my face throughout the day, and wash and sanitize my hands about once an hour. Even when I get home I wash my hands immediately, my car inst safe in my opinion due to drive-thrus and gas stations contact. I think I am safe as I can get, I just try to keep a pure of body as possible from drugs of all types.

    Do you live in a bubble house?..That is going overboard,people who live in fear will experience what they fear...I only wash my hands when i need to,I have sick people when I go to eat,sneezing and coughing,even at work.

    Make sure you air hose in your hygienic suit is clean and the air is clean air for the air around us is not the best.So I've been told .

  • ifcdirector Jan 9, 4:58 p.m.

    Keep your hands clean. When using gas pumps always always always use paper towels to handle the pump handles which are held by hundreds of people a day without cleaning. Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth.

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