Most flu cases in a decade in North Carolina
RALEIGH (WTVD) -- State Health Director Laura Gerald said Friday that flu activity across North Carolina is at the highest levels recorded in the past decade and there have been 12 flu-related deaths so far.
She urged residents to take time out of their holiday activities to get their annual flu vaccination.
"It is very unusual for us to see this many deaths so early in the flu season," Dr. Gerald said.
Gerald said the flu vaccine being offered this year is very effective against the most common strains circulating in the state.
"So we strongly recommend that anyone over 6 months old be vaccinated," she said.
Schools and long-term care facilities have been hardest hit by the outbreaks.
Gerald said pregnant women, people with chronic diseases, very young children and the elderly are most at risk for serious flu-related complications.
Gerald said a few simple precautions can also slow the spread of the illness:
- stay home when you are sick
- wash your hands regularly with soap and water
- cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then discard the tissue promptly
State-supplied flu vaccine is available at no charge from most local health departments and many providers. Contact your local health department or find a flu vaccine clinic near you by visiting flu.nc.gov.
- Enloe High student charged in gun store break-ins
- First Alert Doppler XP
- LIVE North Carolina Weather Radar
- Like ABC11 on Facebook
- 7 hurt, 1 missing in Davidson County boat wreck
- Crews respond to another water rescue on Cape Fear River
- NC troopers to crack down on texting while driving
- Bear struck and killed on I-40 near Winston-Salem
- Duke beats Cornell to advance to lacrosse final
- Thousands of bridges at risk of freak collapse
- Authorities search for Iowa teen amid rain, wind
- Graduates in tornado-raked Okla. town vow to stay
- Deputies find moonshine, still in Thomasville home
- NY's Main Beach tops annual survey of best beaches