Health Team

More than 940 cases of flu diagnosed at WakeMed this month

Posted January 24, 2018 9:46 p.m. EST
Updated July 13, 2018 9:56 a.m. EDT

— A doctor says many emergency rooms in North Carolina look like “war zones” as many fill up with patients showing flu-like symptoms.

State officials will release new numbers Thursday, but 42 people, including a 6-year-old Cary girl, have died from the flu this season.

With the spread of the flu running rampant, many hospitals are putting flu restrictions in place and new data from WakeMed show just how bad the situation is.

A total of 943 patients at WakeMed hospitals have tested positive for the flu so far this month, compared to 224 flu cases between Jan. 1 and Feb. 4 of last year.

WakeMed reports 257 positive flu tests between Jan. 1 and Jan. 10 followed by 491 positive flu tests between Jan. 11 and Jan. 20.

So far this week, 195 patients have tested positive for the flu, WakeMed officials said.

Emergency rooms are filling up with flu patients across North Carolina and doctors advise people seek help immediately if they are sick.

“My number one recommendation would eb to treat and not rely on testing, that is actually in the national recommendations now. I would rather overtreat a few than under-treat even one patient," said Dr. Arash Poursina.

State officials said the flu season began in October and the virus has been more virulent than usual this year.

Flu symptoms include:

A 100 degree or higher fever or feeling feverish (not everyone with the flu has a fever)
A cough and/or sore throat
A runny or stuffy nose
Headaches and/or body aches
Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea (most common in children)