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Health Team

State reports first flu deaths of season

Posted December 3, 2013

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— The state Department of Health and Human Services said Tuesday that three people have died from the flu, marking the first deaths of the annual flu season.

The patients, all middle-age adults with underlying medical conditions, were from eastern North Carolina, the Triad region and the Charlotte area. All three died during the past two weeks after testing positive for Influenza A, one of the main types of flu responsible for seasonal flu epidemics each year.

"We hope that these tragic cases will help alert other people to the risks associated with contracting flu," Dr. Robin Gary Cummings, acting state health director, said in a statement.

Cases of flu have been relatively low in North Carolina so far this season but are beginning to trend upward, public health officials said. Flu season typically peaks during January and February.

Complications from flu can be particularly dangerous for high-risk groups, including infants and toddlers under age 2, pregnant women and people with chronic medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease or immune system problems.

Dr. Allen Mask Still time to get flu shot

"Anyone in a high-risk group who gets the flu should see a doctor right away so they can receive treatment with an antiviral drug," Cummings said. "Early treatment with an antiviral drug can mean the difference between a mild illness and a very serious illness."

Flu vaccination is the most effective treatment against the flu. The immunization takes about two weeks to become effective, and the vaccine is widely available and protects against various strains of flu circulating this year, including H1N1.

Public health officials also encourage people to use the following precautions to protect against the spread of flu and other viruses:

  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then discard the tissue promptly.
  • Wash hands frequently, preferably with soap and water or an approved hand sanitizer.
  • Stay home when you are sick until you are fever free for at least 24 hours.
14 Comments

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  • Kaitlyn Dec 4, 3:01 p.m.

    36,000 people in the US die from the flu every year.

    I'll take my chances with the vaccine.

  • simplelogic Dec 4, 10:20 a.m.

    "This year 24 people died from the flu vaccine."

    Source? Please enlighten us with something other than your own paranoia.

  • littleriver69 Dec 4, 9:01 a.m.

    Say no to flu shots folks. Each dose of flu vaccine contains around 25 micrograms of thimerosal, over 250 times the Environmental Protection Agency’s safety limit of exposure.

    This year 24 people died from the flu vaccine.
    Obamacare for one and all
    December 3, 2013 2:47 p.m.
    ---------------------------------------------------------

    That you barack??

  • DavidJonathan Dec 3, 5:06 p.m.

    Flu shots work. I was wiped out for 3 weeks in 1993 with flu and missed a lot of work and pay. Since then, I get a flu shot, and guess what? No flu. Except one time, and it was gone in 3 days, not three weeks. STAY HOME if you have a fever, people. It's not fair to your customers and co-workers to spread flu around.

  • nic Dec 3, 4:24 p.m.

    Gave over 1000 flu vaccines this year at my hospital and no one died from the vaccine...the worst side effect was cold like symptoms 1-3 days later for 2-3 days and sore arms. A Whole lot better than having the flu for 2 weeks if you ask me, but everyone has their opinions.

  • seeingthru Dec 3, 4:23 p.m.

    To trend upward. I am so tired of this new word " trending" it's so stupid what's wrong with normally saying an upwards trend. Maybe l am just not "trendy" any more.

  • nic Dec 3, 4:21 p.m.

    Obamacare for one and all what you are saying is not true. There is no Thimerosal in the single injection vaccines. In the multi dose vials there is

  • Obamacare for one and all Dec 3, 2:47 p.m.

    Say no to flu shots folks. Each dose of flu vaccine contains around 25 micrograms of thimerosal, over 250 times the Environmental Protection Agency’s safety limit of exposure.

    This year 24 people died from the flu vaccine.

  • icmfal Dec 3, 2:44 p.m.

    Stay home if you are sick or until you are fever free for 24 hours? Not if I do not get sick pay. I will come in no matter how sick I am.

  • silkesmom Dec 3, 2:39 p.m.

    It's not too late to get a flu shot and my health plans cover them. Protect yourselves.

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