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Official Press Release

Contact: Carol Schriber

Date: March 13, 2008

FLU BULLETIN:  Flu still widespread, but cases continue to drop

RALEIGH – The high level of influenza cases in North Carolina appears to have peaked in late February and has been declining over the past two weeks. The number of North Carolinians with flu or flu-like illness dropped for the second week in a row according to the state’s latest flu surveillance report, which was released this morning.

“We hope this downward trend continues,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Jeff Engel. “The next few weeks will tell the story.” The state has reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that flu remains widespread in North Carolina.

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, public health experts determine how the flu is progressing across the state.

The latest report is for the week ending March 8. To date, health care providers have reported that 2.92 percent of patients seen that week had influenza-like illness, down from 4.36 percent in the week ending March 1 and a season high of 5.99 percent in the week before that.

Public health officials have these tips for preventing spread of the flu:

  • Wash your 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.



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