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Health Team

First Flu Case Reported in N.C.

Posted October 17, 2007

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— A 43-year-old Buncombe County woman has contracted the state's first case of flu this season, state health officials said Wednesday.

"It really is hard to predict what the flu season is going to be like. But this case is a wake-up call to all of us," State Health Director Dr. Leah Devlin said in a statement.

Unlike some previous years, the state has an ample supply of flu vaccine, Devlin said, urging people to get flu shots.

"There really is no excuse for not getting a flu shot," she said.

There are two kinds of influenza that commonly infect humans – the more serious Type A and the less serious Type B.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Jeff Engel said the Buncombe County woman has a Type A strain of flu that has accounted for a large percentage of flu cases in the southern hemisphere during its flu season.

"This year's vaccine is targeted at this particular type of flu," Engel said.

The flu accounts for 36,000 deaths and 200,000 hospitalizations in the U.S. each year.

Health officials recommended the following steps to stop spread of the flu and other respiratory diseases:

  • Cover up when coughing or sneezing
  • Use tissues and throw them away after each use
  • Wash hands often
  • Stay home when experiencing flu symptoms
46 Comments

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  • .Milky Oct 19, 2007

    follow me..

  • whatelseisnew Oct 19, 2007

    I have been checking the birds in my yard and so far none of them are showing flu-like symptoms.

  • whatelseisnew Oct 19, 2007

    msudawg

    Sorry but you are still paying for the flu shot. It is called the monthly premium they are charging. Unless of course you are lucky enough to be having someone else pay your insurance premiums. In that case give that person your thanks.

  • SaltlifeLady Oct 18, 2007

    Not sure who decides to report and who doesn't, but this was not the first case of the Flu in NC. There were people diagnosed in September.

  • lizard Oct 18, 2007

    Is this the bird flu we've been warned about for ten years?

  • thecatsmeow Oct 18, 2007

    I remember a few years ago, my co-worker got the flu shot and afterwards, she was out of work for about 2 days. I didn't get the shot and never got the flu. Anyway, I had heard now that they don't use the live virus anymore so the side effects are not as bad. But, anyway, it's a personal choice and I choose not to get it.

  • Amused Oct 18, 2007

    I've not ever even remotely known of anyone dying from the flu.

  • aybutzen Oct 18, 2007

    Every year the flu kills 40,000 Americans. Most people have no significant reaction from getting the shot. The flu shot is cheap and there is plenty of vaccine this year for everyone.

    Some people may remember ‘getting the flu’ from the shot. Maybe they got the shot back when the vaccine was made of live virus. Now the only way to get immunized with the live virus is by using FluZone, which is a nasal mist, and only approved for specific populations. Others may have already been exposed to the flu before getting the shot. It takes 2 weeks for the flu shot to fully protect you.

    Health care IS in this for the money. Treating the flu is expensive; taking a loss on vaccinating millions is cheaper than the cost of treating thousands. This doesn’t even take in account the invaluable cost of human life.

    For more info on whether you should get the flu shot, check out www.cdc.gov/flu . To find where you can get a flu shot in your community, go to www.thecarolinascenter.org/fcf

  • Amused Oct 18, 2007

    Fighting off the flu naturally was dumb??

  • grenlyn1 Oct 18, 2007

    Get the flu shot, don't get the flu shot.. can anyone make up their minds? Wasn't it just a couple months ago the media reported there was a flaw with the flu shot and they didn't recommend it for everyone? Geez, I don't know what's worse? Getting the flu or taking my chances that I don't get a bad dose. ARugh

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