Health & Fitness

Flu death toll in NC spikes

Do your part to stop the spread of flu at home

What actions—apart from getting vaccinated and taking medicine—can you take to help slow the spread of illnesses like the flu?
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What actions—apart from getting vaccinated and taking medicine—can you take to help slow the spread of illnesses like the flu?

Eight more people died of complications from the flu in North Carolina last week, bringing the death toll for the season to 32, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.

The deaths were the most in a week since the flu season began last fall and included the second child. The most common influenza virus this season – Influenza A H3N2 – tends to affect older people more severely. Twenty-two of the flu deaths in the state have been among people age 65 or older.

Also last week, the prevalence of flu-like illness continued to increase, according to a survey done by DHHS. Flu-like illnesses accounted for six percent of visits to clinics, health departments and hospitals surveyed, up from 3 percent two weeks earlier.

Last week, Duke University Health System hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers began barring visits from most children under age 18 and requiring that patients receive no more than two adult visitors at a time as precaution against the flu. The temporary restrictions apply at Duke University, Duke Regional and Duke Raleigh hospitals, as well as the Duke Ambulatory and the James. E. Davis Ambulatory surgery centers.

Richard Stradling: 919-829-4739, @RStradling

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