Health/Fitness

Flu still dropping in N.C.

Thursday, March 27, 2008
man holding tissue to nose

(AP Photo)

The number of North Carolinians with flu or flu-like illness has dropped for the fourth week in a row, according to the state flu surveillance report.

Since its peak in late February, influenza activity has steadily declined and is now close to the levels normally experienced during this time of year. However, flu remains widespread across the state.

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 North Carolina.

The latest report is for the week ending March 22. As of Thursday, health care providers have reported that 1.3 percent of patients seen that week had influenza-like illness, down from 2.0 percent in the week ending March 8 and 2.9 percent in the week before that. The season high was 5.9 percent in the week ending Feb. 23.

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Although the flu season is on the decline, public health officials are still urging people to follow these simple 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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