Flu Season Off to Early Start — Could Be a Bad One

Flu season in the U.S. is off to its earliest start in nearly a decade – and it could be a bad one.

Health officials said suspected flu cases have jumped in five Southern states, including North Carolina, and the primary strain circulating tends to make people sicker than other types. It is particularly hard on the elderly.

It has already alarmed North Carolina public health experts by rocketing to a quick and vigorous start. Now it has claimed two unusually early deaths, one death was at an elevated risk because of advanced age and pre-existing medical conditions, but the other was not. The earliest flu-related deaths last year and the year before came in January and February, according to state public health records.

The good thing is that it’s not too late to get a flu vaccine, and health officials urge those who haven’t to do so. The vaccine takes about two weeks to become fully effective, but flu often continues to spread well into spring.

To stay informed go to:  http://flu.nc.gov/


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