Published: Fri, March 09, 2018
Medical | By Marta Holmes

NC officials report 12 new flu deaths, total climbs to 276

NC officials report 12 new flu deaths, total climbs to 276

So far this season, 276 people have died in the state.

Restrictions remain in place at local hospitals, including the newly named Atrium Health (Carolinas HealthCare System) and Novant Health's Presbyterian Medical Center, which have banned visits to patients by children 12 and under. The number had been 91 the week before.

Since the flu was declared prevalent in NY state in December, almost 108,000 confirmed cases of the flu have been reported, with more than 19,300 hospitalizations. But 8.8 percent of emergency room visits involved the flu during the week ended March 3, still well above the expected 5 percent average.

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Flu deaths have risen to 201 in SC, but the state's department of health says the illness is beginning to slow down. "I continue to urge people to take precautions to prevent contracting or spreading the flu". The flu season can linger into late spring in Georgia. There are likely more flu-associated deaths across the state, Mask said.

The flu season typically peaks around the end of one calendar year and the beginning of the next, Cabaj said.

Influenza is easily spread by coughing, sneezing and nasal secretions, and it can be transmitted on dirty surfaces and hands, officials said. Make sure to cover the mouth and nose with a sleeve or a tissue. This is especially important after using the restroom, before preparing food, after being in public areas and before and after caring for a sick person. This fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.

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Egg-based manufacturing processes have been used to develop flu vaccines for more than 70 years (reported by CDC), however, the alternative methods - cell and recombinant - have also been approved for use by regulatory bodies and do not suffer the same limitations found with eggs.

Get a flu vaccine. The CDC recommends the vaccine for everyone over the age of 6 months. "In addition, prescription antiviral medications may help treat the flu", Webster said.

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