Strongest flu epidemic in the 21st century?


If you haven’t gotten a flu shot, it might be time to change that.

Thursday, January 8th, the NC Department of Health and Human Services released the numbers of this year’s flu epidemic thus far. The numbers weren’t pretty: 54 deaths total, and 30 deaths in only the past seven days.

To be fair, the peak of flu season is around the corner, and last week officials had said to “expect a spike in flu deaths soon.” However, 30 deaths in a week.

Among those 54 deaths, 42 of them were elderly people above the age of 60, and only 2 of the victims were children. It isn’t uncommon for more older people to die from the flu than younger people, but it is uncommon to have so many deaths total at this point in the year.

Another whopping stat released was that more than 10% of the people visiting doctors last week were visiting because of flu-like symptoms. Pediatrician and physicians everywhere in NC have to prepare for the next few weeks, and the unusually cold weather isn’t helping get rid of the flu.

Areas all across NC, whether discussing the mountains or the coastal plain, saw single-digit temperatures at some point during the week. The frigid air is only helping spread the virus.

In order to stop the spread of the flu, there are three things members of the health department are encouraging citizens to do. First, get a flu vaccination. It is never too late and there are plenty available. Secondly, sanitize frequently to limit the spread of germs within your own house. Thirdly, stay warm and do not risk staying outside with others for two long. The deadliest epidemics in history have only been compounded by cold weather.

While the flu can be a nasty sickness, it is preventable and containable, even despite this years vaccination is not as accurate as prior years. and has been for many years. Deaths should never be this high, and it is important that North Carolinians do their best to stay in good health.

With cooperation, this flu season can end much more peacefully than it began.


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