NC Cases Continue to Increase;
Flu Activity Remains Widespread
RALEIGH – Last week, more than 6 percent of the people visiting flu surveillance sites across the state reported flu symptoms. State public health officials are urging North Carolinians to take actions to limit spread of the flu.
The state monitors influenza-like illness during the flu season. Influenza-like illness is a temperature of 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 from these sentinel sites, public health experts determine how the flu is progressing across the state. At this point, the flu is widespread across the entire state.
The latest report is for the week ending Feb. 22. Health care providers at the 76 sentinel sites reported 6.25 percent of patients seen had influenza-like illness. That 6.25 percent figure for this year is the second highest figure since the state’s current surveillance system was put in place in the 2001-02 flu season. The record high flu season was recorded in mid-December 2003, when 7.7 percent of the patients reported influenza-like illness.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu is widespread in 49 states.
Public health officials have these tips for preventing spread of the flu:
- Wash you hands, wash your hands, and wash your hands.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes.
- If you have flu symptoms, seek medical care. There are prescription drugs that can relieve flu symptoms.
- If you are sick, stay home.