Cary, NC – North Carolina is currently in the midst of flu season, with six deaths recorded this year, meaning this flu season is months earlier than previous years’.
This Year’s Flu Season
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, six people in North Carolina have died from the flu, with the sixth death reported last week.
The North Carolina Division of Public Health says our flu season started around the end of September. Typically, influenza-hospital visits spike around February but so far this flu season is starting to uptick sooner than past years, though in 2017 there was also a sudden jump in mid-November. 2017 was also one of North Carolina’s worst flu seasons, with 391 reported flu-related deaths.
Of the six people who have died in North Carolina from the flu thus far, five of them were 65 and older. If you have senior family or friends in the area, or know of seniors in your community who may not have someone to take care of them, make sure you check in on them and ensure they are warm and healthy.
Staying Healthy During the Holidays
This latest spike in flu cases also comes during the holiday season, when there are a lot of opportunities to spread disease.
First and foremost, if you are feeling sick, you may have to skip the holiday party this year. Best to focus on getting healthy than risk spreading the flu to any friends or family. They will understand.
The holidays also means, for many people, rich foods and lots of drinking. Try to keep it all in moderation, as these can compromise your immune system and alcohol can dehydrate you. You can also find ways to have fun with healthier food options.
If you’re meeting a lot of people during the holidays, be careful with touching your hands to your face after shaking hands, at least until you wash them with soap and water.
Also, get a good night’s sleep. You may be free to stay up late because you are partying or don’t have work in the morning but some rest can go a long way in keeping you healthy and disease-free.
And if you have not gotten your flu shot, get on that. Most pharmacies and grocery stores can provide you with a vaccination.
Story by Michael Papich. Photos courtesy of the North Carolina Division of Public Health and Daniel Paquet.