North Carolina Seeing Significant Activity This Flu Season

8:35 AM, Jan 11, 2013   |    comments
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Greensboro, NC-- It seems no matter where you go, what you read or watch on television, everyone is talking about the flu.

If you haven't had it, chances are you know someone who has.

The flu has come with a vengeance this year. According to the Centers for Disease Control, "most of the country is now experiencing high levels of influenza-like illness."

Almost 12 percent of North Carolinians who have sought medical treatment since October 2012 has been for flu-like illnesses .

According to recent data, that percentage is double the season-over-season percentages sinc 2008.

The CDC says on average about 24,000 people die each flu season and the strain that's going around this year is the one they've seen in some of the worst seasons in record-keeping history.

So far, 14 people have died in North Carolina.

"It's worse than I realized. I thought that maybe people were getting hyped over nothing but when you look at the numbers and you look at the spike in the graph you realize it's something to be very concerned about. ," said Louise Van Shaack, the director for the Early Childhood Development Center at Temple Emanuel in Greensboro.

Van Shack says her daycare has been fortunate; none of their students and teachers have had the flu this season.

"We just make sure that we clean our toys, we use Lysol spray to disinfect them, our custodial staff is very thorough in cleaning our rooms with bleach and wiping off all surfaces," Van Shaack said.

Health experts are promoting vaccination as the season kicks into high gear.

The CDC admits this year's vaccine is only 60% effective but it's also the best option available.

Find Flu Vaccine In your area

An important note for parents with children between 6-months and 8-years-old: some of them need two doses of the vaccine.

Make sure to ask your doctor.

Several of Triad county health departments have free flu shots: Alamance County Health Department, Rockingham Health Department and Forsyth County Health Department. No appointments needed. Just show up during business hours.

The flu shot is not free at the Guilford County Health Department and most other health departments, but you can use your health insurance, Medicaid or Medicare card.

WFMY News 2

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