Thursday - October 30, 2014
Cold and Flu Season Hits Early, Hard
Written by Bruce Ferrell   
Monday, 10 December 2012 14:44

(RALEIGH) - Cold and flu season has arrived early in North Carolina and around the Southeast. Several schools in neighboring Tennessee have closed because of the flu; reported cases in North Carolina are the highest they have been in almost a decade. And it's still early in the flu season, according to Zack Moore, a medical epidemiologist with the North Carolina Division of Public Health.

"We're seeing a lot more flu than we normally would for this time of year. It's probably the highest level of flu activity going back, at least to [the] 2003-2004 season."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hand washing is among the most effective steps to avoid getting sick and spreading germs. If soap and water are not handy, the agency recommends using a liquid or gel hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

Moore says the best methods to prevent the flu are by washing hands, wiping down surfaces like cell phones, computers, doorknobs and desktops, and covering your coughs and sneezes. Most importantly, if you have flu-like symptoms, stay home and seek medical attention before returning to work or school.

The virus circulating this year is a very good match to what is in the flu vaccine, Moore says, so getting that flu shot is as good a step as you can take.

"Flu vaccine is the best thing that we have for protection against the flu. We encourage everyone to get it."

(With information from North Carolina News Service)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 December 2012 19:00
 
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