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Two new flu-related deaths reported in NC

Posted December 4, 2014

Flu shots

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

Four people, including two children, have died from the flu during the current season, which began in October. The victims that died last week were both adults, officials said. Their names and information about the circumstances of their deaths have not been released.

The first flu-related death of the 2014-15 season was reported in the first week of October, when an elementary school-age child from the Triangle died from the virus.

Flu shots are encouraged, especially for populations most at-risk from serious illness, including young children, the elderly or those with chronic health conditions.

The flu vaccine may not be very effective this winter, according to U.S. health officials who worry this may lead to more serious illnesses and deaths.

As flu season begins to ramp up, officials say the vaccine does not protect well against the dominant strain seen most commonly so far this year. That strain tends to cause more deaths and hospitalizations, especially in the elderly. CDC officials say the vaccine should still provide some protection, but it won't be as good as if the vaccine strain was a match.

Flu vaccine effectiveness tends to vary from year to year. Last winter, flu vaccine was about 60 percent effective overall, which experts consider good.

The flu season runs from October to May. Last season, 107 people in the state died from influenza.

Visit the state's website for more information, including where to obtain a flu vaccine.


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  • Doug Hanthorn Dec 5, 2014
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    No, the CDC did not say getting the shot was pointless. They still highly recommend that everyone get the shot. But the right wing never tells the truth, does it?

  • 678devilish Dec 4, 2014

    I am praying that the vaccine will work. Who wants to be sick. Those that did not get the flu shot, its not too late, so go ahead and do it.

  • ScientificMethod Dec 4, 2014

    The CDC stated that there was not a good match between the H3N2 strain selected for the vaccine and the predominant (H3N2) strain that seems to be in circulation. That IS NOT the same as saying the vaccine is totally ineffective and you shouldn't bother getting one. In fact the press release says the exact opposite of that..

    “While the vaccine’s ability to protect against drifted H3N2 viruses this season may be reduced, we are still strongly recommending vaccination,” said Joseph Bresee, M.D., Chief of the Influenza Epidemiology and Prevention Branch at CDC. “Vaccination has been found to provide some protection against drifted viruses in past seasons. Also, vaccination will offer protection against other flu viruses that may become more common later in the season.”

  • Norman Lewis Dec 4, 2014
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    I hope we do not have another overly hyped flu death reporting situation as a few years ago involving children. You would think kids were dropping like flies and the pediatricians offices were overwhelmed with every child with a sniffle, cough or was "just not acting right". If you are going to report on flu deaths, report as to how the current season compares with past years average deaths and not alarm people unnecessarily. The CDC makes its best guess as to what strains may be prevalent in the coming season and shockingly, is not perfect. There is never just one strain floating around so not taking a shot because it is not perfect is flawed logic.

  • Itsmyopinion67 Dec 4, 2014


  • theliberadicator Dec 4, 2014

    People are dying because once again Government has failed its citizens? The CDC says getting your flu shot was pointless because they have once again guessed wrong with the vaccine.

    I won't bother with getting one ever again and if I get the flu I won't bother staying at home either. My first stop will be to visit the CDC and sneeze all over the building.

  • Betty Lanier Dec 4, 2014
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    Where are all the people that were clamoring for Ebola suspects to be quarantined? Why are they screaming for the people who are showing flu symptoms to be put into isolation until they are better?

    That is what, 3 so far? Where is the outrage now?

  • heelhawk Dec 4, 2014

    The GOP is split on how to address the flu. Establishment republicans are insisting that it Obama’s fault while the Tea Party denies science and refuses to believe the flu is real. McCain, Palin, and Bachman have pushed for a bill to make the flu illegal.

  • busyb97 Dec 4, 2014

    Well, then that makes me want to rush out and get a vaccine.