Flu deaths rise to seven in North Carolina

Faith Castro
January 5, 2018

Last Thursday, it announced the state's first child death from flu for the 2017-18 flu season.

We have some bad news if you're one of the people who opted for a flu shot this year: It might not actually keep you from getting the flu. San Diego County has reported 45 deaths from seasonal flu outbreaks resulting in more than 3,300 cases last week.

Some of the cases have been severe where the patients required treatment in the intensive care unit, Saunders said.

"We typically peak in the end of February in Lee while the rest of the country peaks earlier", Roth said.

A map showing flu hotspots, including the potentially Aussie flu strain which has arrived in the United Kingdom, has shown Sunderland and Durham are among the areas with the highest cases reported.

"Patients experiencing flu symptoms should see a health provider, including primary care or urgent care, as soon as possible, because there is a prescription medicine that can reduce the duration and symptoms".

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It's January and, of course, the influenza season has begun.

Five outbreaks of the H3N2 strain - a subtype of the common influenza A virus - have been confirmed in residential health facilities over the past two weeks, a trend Dr. Charity Dean, health officer for the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, called concerning. People should recover from normal flu within a week or so, although some symptoms like a cough can last longer.

She also stressed the importance of staying home instead of going into work if you're sick, for your own protection and the protection of others. It is widespread in most states except for Michigan, Iowa, Utah, Nevada, North Carolina, New Jersey, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont where localized cases are reported.

"They are more likely to get the flu, and when they get it, it's harder for them to get rid of it and get well", Dr. Baldwin added.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not determined the effectiveness of this year's flu shot. The vaccine is recommended for everyone six months and older, including pregnant women, according to the state health department.

"I don't know what vaccine they used in Australia", Vaishampayan said. "It takes a couple of weeks for the immunity to develop from that shot". The vaccine for children is available at no charge in the pediatric immunization clinic run by the Collier health department.

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