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Flu blamed for 3 deaths in North Carolina

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

The state Department of Health and Human Services said Tuesday that three people have died from the flu.

The patients, all middle-aged adults with underlying medical conditions, were from Eastern North Carolina, the Triad region, and the Charlotte area. All three passed away during the past two weeks after testing positive for Influenza A, one of the main types of flu responsible for seasonal flu epidemics each year.

"We hope that these tragic cases will help alert other people to the risks associated with contracting flu,” Acting State Health Director Robin Cummings, M.D. said in a statement.


According to public health officials, cases of flu in our state have been relatively low so far this season, but are beginning to trend upward. Flu season typically peaks during January and February. Complications from flu can be particularly dangerous for high risk groups including infants under 2, pregnant women, and people with chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, or immune system problems.
 
"Anyone in a high risk group who gets the flu should see a doctor right away so they can receive treatment with an antiviral drug," Cummings said.
 
Flu vaccination is the most effective treatment against the flu.  The Flu vaccine is widely available and protects against the strains of flu circulating this year, including H1N1.


In addition to vaccination, DHHS encourages everyone to use personal precautions to protect against the spread of flu and other viruses:

  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then discard the tissue promptly.
  • Wash hands frequently, preferably with soap and water or an approved hand sanitizer.
  • Stay home when you are sick until you are fever free for at least 24 hours.

 

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