Health Team

Flu restrictions grow as NC deaths rise

Posted December 30, 2014
Updated January 16, 2015

— Eight people have died in North Carolina from the flu so far this season, and more hospitals are restricting visitors to limit the spread of the virus.

According to information from the state Department of Health and Human Services, two flu-related deaths were reported in the week ending Dec. 20, and a previously unreported death from the week ending Dec. 13 was added to the state's statistics.

All three of the recent deaths were adults, but no other information about them was released.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said North Carolina is one of the most active states for the flu in the nation. Thirty-six states have reported widespread cases of the flu, meaning flu cases have been confirmed in more than half of a state.

More than 1,700 people have been hospitalized this winter across the country for the flu, with sufferers over age 65 requiring hospitalization the most. Nationwide, 15 children have died from the flu.

All Duke University Health System hospitals and outpatient centers on Tuesday began restricting visitors to immediate family or caregivers of patients who are at least 18 years old and aren't exhibiting fever, cough or other flu-like symptoms.

UNC Health Care, Cape Fear Valley Health System and the Fayetteville Veterans Administration Medical Center also have barred young visitors in recent weeks in response to the flu. WakeMed has limited young visitors in some areas of its hospitals since September because of various respiratory illnesses.

Urgent care centers across the Triangle have been packed in recent weeks with patients exhibiting flu-like symptoms. For example, Rex Hospital officials say nearly 300 confirmed flu cases have come through their four Rex Express Care clinics in December, which is twice as many as last year.

Rex sent an extra physician to its Knightdale clinic to handle the overload, but some patients still waited up to two hours Wednesday for treatment.

Flu shots are especially encouraged for populations most at risk from serious illness, including young children, the elderly or those with chronic health conditions.

Flu vaccine effectiveness tends to vary from year to year, and officials have said a strain of the virus mutated this year, which limits the vaccine's effectiveness.

The flu season runs from October to May. Last season, 107 people in North Carolina died from influenza.


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  • JustOneGodLessThanU Jan 5, 2015

    If health is the reason for these shots...and they require their employees to get them... why do they allow people to opt out of this "requirement" for religious reasons?

  • TrannyAtheistLiberalQueen Dec 30, 2014

    View quoted thread

    I'm a sissy and I didn't get one either! I just have what they refer to as hybrid vigor!

  • johnnymanziel Dec 30, 2014

    No flu shot here and I'm still alive. That shot is for sissies.

  • liskm Dec 30, 2014

    Vaccine pretty worthless this year it seems.
    Virtually everyone I know had the shot and virtually all have had the flu.

  • theliberadicator Dec 30, 2014

    So because our Government, the ones that want to take over all of healthcare, can't do a better job within their well funded CDC and get the formula correct, people are dying. Who's accountable for that?

    Do us all a favor, if you have a sniffle, are sneezing, coughing, not feeling quite yourself,


  • southerngirl1954 Dec 30, 2014

    I was in one of the ER's ( here in Raleigh)last Tuesday, the first thing I did upon entering was put on my mask, I was running a temp of 101+, the whole bit. The restrictions were NOT being enforced. There were toddlers running around while their family waited for someone in the back, they were coughing and sneezing, they shoud not have been there, but nothing was said, maybe there was no-one to keep them, and for that I am sorry. As for me I am still home sick, so I do hope the restrictions are tighter, but they are only as good as the people sitting at security and check-in.

  • rushbot Dec 30, 2014

    my daughter brought home the flue..she caught it from kids down the way...the kids down the street did not receive flu vaccine 'cause their parents did not believe in it...the entire family had flu with fevers of 105....we all got the vaccine...i have had it every year since 75...that gave me protection against about 80 strains of a and 40 strains of wife has had the vaccine since about 80...because she is healthier, she's had the mist several times in that she has protection against about 70 a and 40 b kids have gotten the mist since they were little...they have protection against 8 a strains and 8 b strains (the youngest)...and 14 a strains and 14 b strains..the oldest...........and we all have received some cross strain protection.......the results to my family...i tested postive for the flu the week before Christmas, my fever never exceeded 100.5..i got tamiflu and was older child the wife/youngest: no flu!! THE VACCINE WORKS!!!

  • 68_dodge_polara Dec 30, 2014

    So the less effective it is the more it's demand rises? Odd.