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: Mark Van Sciver

  Contact: February 14, 2008

Flu Cases Continue to Rise

Public Health Officials Stress Vaccination

RALEIGH – State Health Director Leah Devlin announced today that that the number of flu cases in North Carolina continues to increase, but flu vaccine is still available. She encouraged unvaccinated people to get immunized against the disease.

“There is a flu clinic finder available on the Department of Health and Human Services NCcareLINK Web site,” Devlin said. “You can go there and find a vaccine in your community. We don’t know when this flu season will peak, but we do know that the season can extend until May, so this is a good opportunity to keep you and your family well.”

The flu clinic finder is available at www.nccarelink.gov under the alert section.

The state monitors influenza-like illness during the flu season. Influenza-like illness is characterized by 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, 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, which was issued today, is for the week ending Feb. 9.  Health care providers reported 5.17 percent of patients seen had influenza-like illness.  That 5.17 figure for this year is higher than 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
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Debbie Crane
Director