Last week, in North Carolina, there were 17 reported flu deaths. Data released by the North Carolina Division of Health on Thursday reports that last week’s influenza deaths brought the state’s total to 83 deaths from the viral infection.
Dr. Alan Mask recently spoke to local media and shared that this year’s flu season is peaking later than normal. North Carolina’s influenza deaths were reported to have taken place between February 26 and March 4. Records show that 16 people died from the viral infection between February 19 and February 25, reports WXII News 12.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that 15 children under the age of 18 have died from influenza viruses in 2016-2017. The CDC adds the numbers are most likely now higher than that because it takes time to gather the current information and some states do not report deaths as quickly as others. Last year’s flu season saw 89 children die.
Dr. Mask says that a lot of people assume that influenza is a common cold, but there are major differences and if the viral infection is not properly treated the results can be deadly. He adds that if people see headaches, high fevers, body aches, and chills they are not dealing with a cold. He warns that if you have these symptoms you are not dealing with a common cold.
The flu is a respiratory illness, and it is contagious. The flu is caused by influenza viruses. At times the flu can cause mild illness, but it can also be severe and lead to death. At the greatest risk of the flu resulting in death are the elderly, young children and individuals with certain health problems, reports WRAL.com
Dr. Mask adds that the best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated. He adds that washing your hands frequently and coughing into your elbow can also help prevent the flu. He advises that you stay at least six feet away from anyone with the flu. If you are diagnosed will the flu you should stay home and rest for at least one week.
The doctor also shares that if you suffer from any of the following symptoms you should seek medical attention right away. Those symptoms include a fever of 100 degrees or higher, a sore throat or nagging cough, headaches and or body aches, fatigue, chills, diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting. He adds that flu season runs through May so it is not too late to get a flu shot, reports WCNC NBC Charlotte.
Flu activity in North Carolina has slowed down, but it is still widespread so health officials recommend that you protect yourself from the virus.
By Tammy Marie Rose