Michael F. Easley
Governor

The Great Seal of the State of North Carolina Dempsey Benton
Secretary

North Carolina
Department of Health and Human Services

For Release: IMMEDIATE
Date: February 7, 2008

  Contact: Debbie Crane

Flu Widespread in NC; State Health Director Urges Precautions

Este pagina en espanolRALEIGH – State Health Director Leah Devlin today said that the flu is widespread across North Carolina, and that North Carolinians should take actions to prevent infection.

“It isn’t too late to vaccinate,” Devlin said.  “Many health department and health care providers still have vaccine available.”

“There are other vital actions you can take to limit the spread of flu infection,” she said. “Wash your hands. Cover your coughs and sneezes. If you are sick, stay home.”

The state monitors influenza-like illness during the flu season. Influenza-like illness is a temperature 100 degrees or greater and cough or sore throat. Seventy-six health care providers statewide report the number of people they are seeing with these symptoms weekly.  Based on those reports, public health experts determine how the flu is progressing across the state.

The latest report, which was issued today, is for the week ending Feb. 2.  Health care providers reported 4.87 percent of  patients seen had influenza-like illness.  This is higher than the peak for last year’s flu season. Last year the peak came in late December with three percent of the patients reporting influenza-like illness.  The 4.87 percent figure for this year is higher than that the peaks for the four previous seasons.  However, we still are far below the record-high 7.7 percent recorded during mid-December 2003.

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Public Affairs Office
101 Blair Drive, Raleigh, NC 27603
(919)733-9190
FAX (919)733-7447

Debbie Crane
Director