Local News

NC Among Flu Outbreak States

Posted February 2, 1999

— The flu season has come later than usual this year, but it has hit North Carolina like a hurricane.

"We've seen a large increase in people with the flu," says Dr. Glenn Withrow, of The Family Doctor.

Like many North Carolinians, Sharon Riley hurts, and she's come to Dr. Withrow looking for more than sympathy.

"Some people are saying that every muscle in their body aches, even their hair aches," Withrow says.

In fact, the NationalCenters for Disease Controlconfirms that North Carolina is one of a growing number of flu outbreak states.

Doctors have diagnosed both A and B strains of influenza here, which increases the chances the virus will spread.

Students atGuy Phillips Middle Schoolin Chapel Hill learned that lesson the hard way. In the past week much of the girls and boys basketball teams were benched with the flu.

"My head hurt so bad, I could feel the veins in my head bursting," says eighth grader Max Krucoff. "And I was out Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday."

At times, the virus left classrooms half empty, while dozens of sick students suffered at home. Phillips Principal Alton Cheek says he always wanted smaller class sizes, but this wasn't what he had in mind.

"We've had as few out a day as 11 and we've gone to 116. So that's quite dramatic. But, we're back down today to 76, so we're headed in the right direction."

If you haven't had a flu shot yet, it's not too late. Reporter: Cullen BrowderPhotographer: Chad Flowers

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