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Teen is NC's first flu death; officials urge vaccinations

Posted January 6, 2011

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— A 15-year-old died Wednesday of complications from influenza, becoming North Carolina's first fatality of the flu season, public health officials said Thursday.

The teen's identity, hometown and gender weren't released to protect the family's privacy, officials said.

“The death of this healthy young person is a tragic reminder of the potentially devastating effects flu can have on people at any age,” State Health Director Dr. Jeff Engel said in a statement. “Most flu infections can be prevented by getting the vaccine. Flu vaccine is readily available and affordable this year, and is the single most effective way to protect yourself and your loved ones.”

The teen who died hadn't received a flu shot this year, officials said.

Statewide surveillance shows that flu is now widespread in North Carolina. The southeastern U.S. has had most of the flu activity nationwide so far this season, officials said.

“Flu season lasts into the spring, so if you haven’t been vaccinated, it is not too late,” Engel said. "A good vaccine match can reduce the chances of getting influenza by up to 90 percent.”

This year’s vaccine protects against three strains of influenza, including the H1N1 virus that caused a global scare a year ago.

Flu vaccine is recommended for anyone over 6 months old and is particularly important for high-risk populations like pregnant women, people with chronic diseases, very young children and the elderly, officials said.

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  • Arkansas Razorback Jan 12, 2011

    I am 42 years old and I have never had a flu shot. I guess I am lucky because I have only had the flu 1 time that I know of. I think a lot of people think that they have the flu when in fact they have a common cold.

  • beachbabie1994 Jan 12, 2011

    27615 I read somewhere people who drive cars have a better chance of getting in a car accident then people who don't eat. Your logic is flawed.

  • They call me CATMAN Jan 11, 2011

    27615 I read somewhere people who drive cars have a better chance of getting in a car accident then people who don't eat. Your logic is flawed.

  • scientistjo Jan 7, 2011

    "people who wash their hands more are more likely to get the flu" -packfan1752

    WHAT?!?! So you don't get the flu shot, and you don't wash your hands? Good hygiene, man.

  • freedom monkey Jan 7, 2011

    dlk13ster
    Dr. Tenpenny will never be accredited by the AMA because she exposes the truth and it goes against the establishment who are controlled by the corporations, who control the AMA and FDA. You citing AMA and FDA automatically made me laugh. The same AMA who once stated that cigarettes are safe for you? The same AMA who attempts and succeeds in running doctors out of the country when they find cures for cancer. The same FDA who keeps dangerous, deadly drugs on the market even after it knows those drugs are killing people like Vioxx (60,000 dead), who says GMO foods are good for you, they make natural remedies illegal, running doctors out of the U.S. who cures cancers at higher percentages than “chemo” doctors. The same FDA who says fluoride and other toxic chemicals in our water supply is wonderful. FDA-approved prescription drugs injure 2.2 million and kill approximately 100,000 Americans each year, according to peer-reviewed published studies, and more realistic estimat

  • littleriver69 Jan 7, 2011

    Hello Mcfly!!!! The flu shot WILL NOT get you sick. Its a dead virus. Its possible to get sick using the mist, for it contains the live virus. If you get sick from the shot, that means you were already exposed to the virus before getting the shot. Also, the shot WILL NOT prevent one from getting the flu, it will assist and lessen the chance but thats all. Wake up people and educate yourselves.

  • Education_1st Jan 7, 2011

    The vaccine in the shot is not going to work immediately, that's why people think the shot gets you sick. It can take up to 2 weeks for your body to build up effective immunity to the virus. In those 2 weeks you are exposed to the same viruses as anyone who hasn't taken the shot. However, there is Adult Flu mist available for the 1st time this year. This painless method is effective immediately! I had mine through Raleigh Children and Adolescents so I know it is available.

  • Rebelyell Jan 6, 2011

    The vaccine is actually causing people to get the flu. Get the shot and get sick with the flu within two weeks? Got it from the shot. Add to that the companies that profit off the vaccine might be infecting people to increase profits. Anyone remember the swine flu vaccine? Thousands died from the vaccine and the government (taxpayers) took all the liability because in their most dastardly move ever, the vaccine companies refused to release the vaccine until the political machine took all responsibility. They knew it was bad and sold it anyhow--just like they do today. Yet no one remembers history, so it will repeat itself.

  • ckdnral Jan 6, 2011

    I have been required for the past 2 years to get the flu shot, because it has become mandatory where I work. But, unfortunately each time I got vaccinated I still ended up getting the flu! Of course my doctor told me that there are so many strands of the flu out there that the flu shot may not always work. I will continue to get the flu shot because I have to, but trust me getting vaccinating does not always prevent you from getting the flu!

    Dude....All you said here is true with the exception that you have to. You do not. If you are that opposed to getting a flu shot find another job.

  • whatelseisnew Jan 6, 2011

    "Cary Area EMS still has vaccine. We offer the vaccine for free. You can contact us at 380-6909 for more information."

    Really? You are getting free flu vaccines? From who?

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