State reports sixth Flu death of season - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

12.24.03

State reports sixth Flu death of season

The flu in North Carolina hasn't peaked yet, and Tuesday there was word of another death.  This time the virus has claimed the life of a baby boy.

North Carolina has now confirmed its sixth Flu death since the season began in early October.

18-month-old Kaleb Furr died in Stanly County on December 10th, and state health officials confirmed Tuesday it was the flu that killed him.

The young boy was having respiratory problems only two days prior to being found unresponsive by his parents. His father was also suffering from the flu at the time.

The autopsy indicated the child had Type-A Influenza, though he had received the Flu shot in October.

This Stanly County death follows that of Dylan Ramsey Thomas, a 15-month-old Wilson County boy.

Child flu-death's are still below average though - North Carolina sees around 15 deaths a year from the flu, but this year more than five times the number of chidren have been immunized than years past.

The good news is that the Flu scare could be coming to an end soon.

State health officials say the flu is close to its peak and that the number of cases should start to fall early in 2004. 

But the worst could still be ahead - March is usually the peak of the flu season.

The Health Department predicts we will have another couple weeks of a heavy flu season.  They say no one should let their guard down when it comes to preventing the virus

Reported by Nicole Konkal. Email: nkonkal@wect.com

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