Health Team

Two NC flu deaths surprise experts

Posted January 19, 2011

— The flu is widespread in North Carolina and has caused two deaths this season, experts say.

A year after the H1N1 scare, a mix of H1N1 and types A and B of the flu is circulating in North Carolina. About half of the cases are from the Type B strain.

Type B flu has also been connected to two deaths, a fact that surprised experts.

"Type A and B can cause serious disease. It's said in most years that B is milder, but this year, it doesn't appear to be so," said Dr. David Weber, an infectious disease expert with the University of North Carolina School of Public Health.

The current flu vaccine includes protection from Type B influenza, as well as H1N1 and Type A.

"Do the things to protect yourself from the flu," Weber said. The flu season hasn't "peaked yet. There's still time to get your vaccine, so first, get the vaccine."

health team flu Two NC flu deaths surprise experts

In the fatal flu cases in North Carolina, one of the patients had not received the vaccine and the other patient did receive it, but only a few days before the first symptoms, which was too late. The immunization has to be in the body for about 2 weeks before it's fully effective.

The flu vaccine is recommended for anyone over 6 months old and those who are most at risk for complications, including pregnant women, very young children, the elderly and those with chronic or underlying conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and asthma.

Most people can get through the flu in less than a week by staying home and using over-the-counter pain and fever medications.

People in the at-risk groups, though, should call their doctor within 48 hours after the first symptoms appear. Doctors might prescribe medicine that will shorten the course of the disease and decrease the risk of hospitalization or even death.

Flu symptoms include an upper respiratory infection, cough or cold combined with a fever, headache and muscle aches.


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  • Wenchmaid Jan 26, 2011

    Kikinc, I provide direct patient care, and the vaccine is optional for me. And yes we have sick time, but it costs hospitals more to pay sick time to the ill employee and pay the employee (and possibly pay them overtime) to cover for the ill one. Yes, vaccinating us does protect patients, but it also protects other employees.

  • freedom monkey Jan 26, 2011

    “In 1977, a Russian study found that adults exposed to ethylmercury, the form of mercury in thimerosal, suffered brain damage years later,” writes Dawn Prate for Natural News. “Studies on thimerosal poisoning also describe tubular necrosis and nervous system injury, including obtundation, coma and death. As a result of these findings, Russia banned thimerosal from children’s vaccines in 1980. Denmark, Austria, Japan, Great Britain and all the Scandinavian countries have also banned the preservative.” USA? No! We love injecting mercury to our people.

  • freedom monkey Jan 26, 2011

    "COULD prevent illness and save lives."

    H1N1 Swine Flu Vaccine Insert Admits It Causes Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Vasculitis, Paralysis, Anaphylactic Shock And Death.

    Fox News; The Swine Flu Vaccine Contains 25,000 Times The Amount Of Mercury That Is Considered Safe.

    Oh scattermom, If you do your research you will find hundreds of doctors (Dr. Tenpenny and Dr. Blaylock to name two off the top) that will tell you the vaccines are dangerous. But after two years of my own research, I choose not to inject. Miara20, goes for you too. Enjoy your injections!

  • kikinc Jan 26, 2011

    Or if not compromised, a young immune system, such as a newborn.

  • kikinc Jan 26, 2011

    Wenchmaid-hospitals giving the flu shot to employees has more to do with protecting patients, since if you're in the hospital, most likely, you have a compromised immune system. I work at a local hospital, and because I don't have direct patient contact, the flu vaccine is only optional for me. For those with direct patient contact, it is mandatory. It has nothing to do with keeping us at work. We earn sick time that we use when we need to stay home sick.

  • Wenchmaid Jan 26, 2011

    I'm sure hospitals spend thousands of dollars on flu vaccines for employees who want them just so they can throw money away. Everyone knows that hospitals across the country are drowning in money so they can afford to spend money on such useless things as the flu vaccine. It has nothing to do with savings incurred when employees show up to do their jobs instead of calling out sick with the flu. If you don't want the flu shot, don't get it, but don't spout your psuedoscientific opinion and keep others from getting the vaccine when it could prevent illness and save lives.

  • gokousupasayan Jan 24, 2011

    I caught the flu this past week. First time I've ever gotten it in my 3 decades of living. It's rough. I'm still recovering. Just hope I don't pass it onto my child.

  • scattermom Jan 21, 2011

    Oh Freedom Monkey-- The "Health Ranger" is a reporter...not a scientist or a doctor. But please, let's listen to him over immunologists.

  • miara20 Jan 21, 2011

    I don't know why people think that the flu shot will keep you from getting the flu. It doesn't keep you from getting the flu. It simply protects you from dying from it. So Freedom Monkey, how can there be any evidence at all that the flu shot prevents the flu? When the flu shot wasn't made to prevent the flu. It was made to protect you from getting serious side effects from the flu and causing you to loose your life. Do some research!

  • freedom monkey Jan 20, 2011

    There is no evidence the flu shot prevents the flu. Prove me wrong. If you can prove me wrong using scientific methods, then collect your $10,000. No one has collected the money because they can't prove it.