Flu cases on rise in North Carolina; 44 deaths, 10 in last week

GREENVILLE, NC (WNCT)- The flu is in full swing, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. The season starts in November and goes through May.

So far, North Carolina has seen 44 flu-related deaths with 10 in the last week. Vidant Medical Center has reported a 25 to 30 percent increase in flu-related visits compared to this time last year.

Doctors say the best protection against the flu is to get the vaccine and, of course, wash your hands.

If you do get the flu, Pitt County’s health director Dr. John Morrow said you probably don’t need to go to the emergency room.  Dr. Morrow said the best thing you can do once you’re sick is rest and drink lots of fluids. Even though the vaccine can’t protect you from everything, it makes things a lot better.

“It’s doing its job in terms of protecting people from dying and becoming seriously ill with the flu,” said Dr. Morrow. “You may get the flu even after vaccinations, not from the flu vaccine itself, but from the flu virus that’s in the community.”

Morrow said a lot of people in the area are sick right now. The flu is not a reportable disease, so he doesn’t have any specific figures for the number of people affected.

Dr. Morrow said the strain going around right now is type A. He says that version is known to cause large outbreaks like the one happening now. It’s also the one that causes the most deaths.

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