The Duke Health system says it is restricting patient visits at its hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers because of a rise in influenza cases among its patients and in the Triangle.
Starting Thursday, visitors to Duke University Hospital, Duke Regional and Duke Raleigh hospitals, and the Duke and the James E. Davis ambulatory surgical centers will be limited to immediate family or designated caregivers who have no fever, cough or other flu-like symptoms. Children will not be allowed to visit patients.
Meanwhile, two more people have died of complications of the flu in North Carolina, bringing the death toll for the season to 10, according to the weekly report from the state Department of Health and Human Service. It’s the fewest deaths from flu since 2011-2012, when nine died during the entire season. Last year, flu killed 218 people.
All of the 10 people who have died of flu this season have been adults.
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The report also says that the percentage of patients with flu-like illnesses inched up last week, to more than 4 percent, after declining the week before, based on a weekly survey of clinics around the state.
Besides getting vaccinated, the best way to keep from getting the flu is to avoid contact with people who have flu-like symptoms and to wash hands frequently with soap and water.