Local News

Ten more flu-related deaths reported in NC

Posted February 6, 2014

Flu shot

— Ten more people died from the flu in North Carolina last week, according to data released Thursday by the state Department of Health and Human Services.

Fifty-six people statewide have died of the flu since October, including one infant and two other children under the age of 18. 

Adults ages 25 to 49 continue to be most affected, accounting for 22 deaths in North Carolina, followed by those ages 50 to 64, with 19 deaths. Twelve people 65 or older have died of the flu, as has one infant and two children between ages 5 and 17.

Still, the number of visits to hospital emergency rooms and to physician offices and outpatient clinics for flu-like symptoms declined last week, officials said.

A year ago, 59 people died from flu-related symptoms during the six-month flu season that runs from early October to mid-May. Adults ages 65 or older accounted for 36 of the 59 deaths in 2012-13, and nobody under 18 died from the flu.

High levels of flu activity are expected over the coming weeks as flu season typically peaks during January and February.

The best protection against the flu is a flu shot, which is available for anyone 6 months old or older. It takes at least two weeks to build up a full immunity against the virus.

Hand-washing, coughing into your sleeve and keeping a safe distance from people with flu symptoms are practical ways to help prevent the spread of the flu.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • hollylama Feb 7, 2014

    California has had 147 deaths so far and last year had 106 the entire season.

  • sixnitepkg Feb 7, 2014

    What strains are going around this year? Which strains are in the shot? More information would be nice. emaleth

    predominant strain this year is the 2009 strain of (A)H1N1 - but B type, and A(H3) are also showing up (as they do every year) & almost as many untyped A as there is (A)H1N1 which just means they got a positive swab for flu A but didn't test which type of A. testing further is not really needed, because it's simple - get the A type flu? start Tamiflu within 48 hours & you'll feel better in 3 - 4 days! This whole article is not only sensationalism, (the annual average flu season death toll in the US is 10,000, and if NC has 4% of the US population that means roughly 400 deaths/ year in NC - this flu season is MILD) but also pointless - why get the flu & feel terrible for a week or 2 at best or at worst end up a statistic - get your flu shot every fall! wait for the return of a true Flu pandemic that reduces the population by 25-30% like 1918 did - then you can freak out!

  • The_Analyst Feb 7, 2014

    Like other vaccines (Lyme comes to mind) immunity is enhanced by repeated exposure, usually in the 65-85-95% sort of schedule. This means that a single innoculation of vaccine is 65% effective against the 4 strains (or closely related variants) included in the original vaccine formulation. "immunity", which is a misleading term, because vaccinated individuals still catch the virus but have antibody production ready to go in such short order that the infection is mostly undetectable, drops below 60% for a single vaccine in individuals over 55 or 60. I would recommend that these individuals get their first vaccine in September, with a follow up vaccination in December or January. Of course, it would be best if the second (and a posslible third) vaccination was based on the reality of viral genetic drift, which can be quite pronounced since the vaccines were selected and standardized in April and May that year.

  • tsquaring Feb 7, 2014

    How many

  • tri123 Feb 7, 2014

    It is true that the flu shot is not very effective for a person. However, that isn't how a population gets a disease. Think about the summer- almost no one gets the flu. That is because in warm air flu transmission goes down about 30%- very similar to how effective the flu shot is.

    So what is the difference in the number of people who get the flu in the summer so extreme? Because how flu works is 1 person gives it to 2 people, who give it to 4 people... ONE person infects a lot of people. If you can just reduce the number of infections just a little bit, you reduce the total number who get the flu by a huge number.

    Get your flu shot, save lives.

  • piratepeople2 Feb 7, 2014

    to WHATELSEISNEW-funerals are money makers too-vaccines are far less expensive and more bang for your buck!

  • recoveringrepublican Feb 7, 2014

    The BEST protection from flu come from a daily one ounce shot from nature's best flu preventive pure Elderberry juice. The nations top Elderberry juice company is right here in NC.

  • carrboroyouth Feb 7, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Cold rain does not cause the flu. The influenza virus does.

  • Tommylee Feb 6, 2014

    I wished I'd get it

  • hollylama Feb 6, 2014

    Much better picture...last week's featured a nurse giving a shot with no gloves.