Local News

Doctors seeing surge of pneumonia cases across Triangle

Posted December 15, 2015 7:03 p.m. EST

— Doctors across the Triangle say they are seeing a surge in the number of pneumonia cases this season, and that the weather is partially to blame.

According to doctors, the one warm day, one cool day weather pattern is the perfect recipe for upper respiratory illnesses like pneumonia.

Kim Charron's husband had a lingering cough and ended up at his doctor's office. It turned out to not be anything serious, but doctors at the UNC-Rex emergency department say diagnoses have jumped 15 percent in the first two weeks of December.

At AFC Doctors Express in Cary, Dr. Sameer Maroof said he is also seeing a surge.

"What we see more is the walking pneumonia, and signs of walking pneumonia are coughing, especially productive with phlegm or mucus, fevers, chills and sweats," he said.

But while doctors are treating more patients for pneumonia, they say they are seeing fewer cases of the flu.

Statewide, fewer than two dozen cases of influenza have been confirmed, a significant drop from last year when the vaccine did not match the contagious strand.

"So, this year what we are seeing is less cases of the flu, so we are using that to assess that the flu vaccine this year may be more effective than last year," Maroof said.

Doctors encourage anyone with a cough lasting more than a week to see a doctor right away.