Four flu deaths are from Triangle

Jan. 11, 2014 @ 05:22 PM

Four of the 21 flu-related deaths in North Carolina this season have been from the Triangle region, a medical official said Friday.

Dr. Zack Moore, medical epidemiologist with the N.C. Division of Public Health, confirmed that the four deaths were from an area that includes Durham, Orange, Chatham, Franklin, Johnston and Wake counties.

State officials don’t report specific counties where the deaths occurred.

Thirteen of the 21 reported deaths statewide have happened in the past two weeks.

The deaths have been reported from “all regions in the state,” Moore said.

All except two have been people under age 65.

The predominant strain this year is H1N1, and affects the young more than the elderly, he said.

This year’s flu vaccine covers H1N1 and other viruses that are circulating this season.

Moore said that the actual number of flu deaths is “definitely more than 21,” but many people who die aren’t tested for flu virus and other flu-related deaths are never reported.

Although it takes about two weeks for those who get the flu shot to be fully protected, it’s not too late to be vaccinated, he said.

And for those who get sick, there are anti-viral drugs – including Tamiflu – that can help if taken within 48 hours, he said.