Flu cases widespread in NC

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- State Health Department officials say this year’s flu season seems to be more intense and widespread than it has been in recent years.

According to flu statistics released Tuesday, nine people have died from the flu in the last two weeks in North Carolina. Two of those deaths were in Guilford County.

“We're having a lot of hospitalization in folks who are older, and younger kids are also being hospitalized with influenza,” said Cynthia Snider, infectious disease doctor at Moses Cone Hospital.

Doctors say this year’s flu season has been particularly harsh, because the main strain of the virus going around was not matched in this year’s flu vaccine.

However, there are still ways you can keep you and your family healthy, especially now that kids are back in school.

Doctors say covering your mouth while coughing, washing your hands, and keeping your distance from people who are ill can go a long way when it comes to preventing the flu.

“Kids want to be at school, parents want the kids in school. But if they're sick, they need to be at home so we can contain the spread of the virus if it's the flu,” said Robin Bergeron-Nolan, director of Health Services and Counseling Services with Guilford County Schools.

Doctors say there are some specific symptoms that mean you should stay home from school or work.

“Usually it's a fever of greater 100.3. Also, having upper respiratory symptoms of sore throat, cough, congestion, as well as body aches and muscle aches,” said Dr. Snider.

Snider says it’s still important to get the flu vaccine if you haven’t, because the peak of flu season is still about a month away.