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Health Department confirms 148 influenza deaths in North Carolina until now in 2018-19 season



RALEIGH (WTVD) – A total of 148 people in North Carolina died of flu this season, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

The latest influenza number was released March 16th.

During the last recorded week, there were seven new flu-like deaths.

In North Carolina, 391 influenza death reports were reported during the 2017-2018 influenza season – the most reported in an influenza season, as the number of adult influenza deaths was reported in the state in 2009.

Of the 391 deaths, 290 were aged 65 and over. the elderly and seven were children under the age of 18.

Duke Pulmonologist and Critical Care Physician Dr. Talal Dahhan said many patients who contract the flu unfortunately become seriously ill and land in the hospital.

"We have had a significant number of referrals to critically ill patients who need advanced mechanical ventilation and sometimes extracorporeal support or what we call ECMO," says Dr. Dahhan.
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The Ministry of Health defines a flu-like death as a "death from a clinically compatible disease confirmed to be the flu of an appropriate laboratory or rapid diagnostic test with no period of time. complete recovery between illness and death. "

Officials already report that influenza cases are higher than this time a year ago.

CDC recommends vaccination against influenza for all 6 months and older.
"Vaccination, vaccination, vaccination is the most important," said Dr. Dahhan.

He said that an influenza stroke is still your best defense and that the available vaccine actually works very well against most strains.

"There are antiviral drugs to control viral load rise and they are available and they work better if we recognize the influenza virus early to control the disease."

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