Flu cases on the rise, 18 deaths in NC so far - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Flu cases on the rise, 18 deaths in NC so far

NEW HANOVER COUNTY (WECT) - The rush is on to try and prevent the spread of the flu virus, which hit hard and fairly early this year, according to officials.

There have been 18 deaths related to the flu virus in the state of North Carolina already. There is no sign this year's flu season is going to slow down anytime soon.

In Boston, the mayor has declared a public health emergency with 700 cases so far this year. There are even crowded emergency rooms. A hospital in Pennsylvania had to set up a tent for the overflow.

The other concern is health experts say this season could last longer, because this year's strain is said to be more severe.

The Center for disease control says the best was to prevent the virus is to get a flu shot. In addition, be sure to wash your hands frequently, avoid contact with sick people and stay home from work or school if you are sick.

According to officials, over 5,600 vaccines have been administered by the health department since September.  An ample supply of the flu vaccine, including the nasal vaccine, is still available.

If you get the flu the doctor will prescribe Tamiflu and there have been shortages in other parts of the country, but most of the pharmacies in Wilmington have plenty. There have been no reports of shortages in our area, so far.

To schedule an appointment with the health department flu clinic call 910-798-6646. Walk-in appointments are also available between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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