26 Flu related deaths so far this season in North Carolina

CALDWELL COUNTY, NC (January 18, 2017)…Mandy Cohen, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services secretary was quoted as saying that the worst is yet to come.  Flu cases usually peak in February and experts believe it will be earlier this year.  She said the prevalence in the number of flu cases in North Carolina this year is slightly higher compared with previous years.  Twenty-six people statewide, including two children, have already died of the flu since early October.  Cohen said that there is still time to get a flu shot.  Getting a flu shot can help reduce the severity of the flu if you do come down with it, and it protects people around you as well, Cohen said.  There is no shortage of the vaccine and the shot takes about two weeks to take full effect – just in time for the peak of the flu season next month and March.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that getting vaccinated is the single best way for people to protect not only themselves against flu, but their loved ones as well. “As this year’s flu season approaches, remember these four simple tips to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others: wash your hands often, cover your cough, stay home when sick and get your flu vaccine,” said the Caldwell County Health Department’s Preparedness Coordinator, Chad Coffey.

About Influenza (Flu) Viruses…

Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Some people — such as older people, young children and people with certain health conditions — are at high risk for serious flu complications. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year. Seasonal influenza vaccine must be changed each year as the viruses naturally change over time.

To avoid catching the flu, get vaccinated each year and practice good hand hygiene. To avoid giving the flu to others, stay home when you are sick, cough or sneeze into tissues and discard them properly, and wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an approved hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

During October through May, the N.C. Division of Public Health provides weekly updates on the spread of the influenza in North Carolina.

Flu symptoms include…

A 100 degree or higher fever or feeling feverish (not everyone with the flu has a fever)

A cough and/or sore throat

A runny or stuffy nose

Headaches and/or body aches



Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea (most common in children)

Here are some flu prevention tips from the CDC…

• Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

• While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.

• If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)

• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

• Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.

• Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

From www.cdc.gov/flu/consumer/prevention.htm:

For more Flu related information visit www.flu.nc.gov

How much are flu vaccines at CCHD?  We take most insurances (current Medicare part B card, current Medicaid card or any other private insurance card). You must present a copy of the front and back of your insurance card at time of service. Uninsured is $25.

And, do you need an appointment?  Yes, call 828-426-8400 to schedule an appointment.

Click Here for the CCHD Flu Vaccine consent form.