Published: Fri, January 05, 2018
Health Care | By Alice Shelton

Flu deaths rise to seven in North Carolina

A map showing flu hotspots, including the potentially Aussie flu strain which has arrived in the United Kingdom, has shown Portsmouth is among the areas with the highest cases reported. That represented the highest level of flu-related deaths since DHHS began providing victim totals in 2008.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said up to half of all children who die as a result of the flu have no known medical condition that put them at higher risk for complications of the illness.

The Laredo Health Department is urging the public to get their flu shots immediately, since the state is seeing a widespread spike in flu cases. Many people do not visit the doctor when ill and doctors should not be expected to run tests on all patients exhibiting influenza-like symptoms, state health officials said.

The number of reported cases represent a small proportion of the true number of cases of influenza.

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Nationally, flu season has arrived stronger than projected, according to federal health officials. But it's hard to compare one flu season with another, he said. Dukes says it isn't too late to get a shot since flu season can run well into the spring in Oklahoma. The CDC urges a vaccination for everyone 6 months of age or older.

"We're about two weeks ahead of where we were past year", she said.

The H3N2 strain, which caused one of Australia's worst flu outbreaks past year, can lead to pneumonia and other life-threatening conditions.

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.

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