Friday, June 21, 2024

Brunswick County alerts residents to symptoms as North Carolina flu deaths spike

As of last week, approximately 8 percent of all hospital visits in region two of North Carolina, which includes Pender, Brunswick, Onslow and New Hanover counties, addressed flu-related symptoms.

Brunswick County Health Director Cris Harrelson watches Health Services staff members give Brunswick County Schools Superintendent Les Tubb a flu shot. (Port City Daily photo / COURTESY BRUNSWICK COUNTY)

BRUNSWICK COUNTY—With 42 total influenza-associated deaths recorded this flu season, area officials hope to spread the word about symptoms.

Brunswick County and Brunswick County Schools provided a joint announcement, uniting in the effort to fight the flu “as the number of new cases of influenza virus continue to grow in Brunswick County and across North Carolina,” the release states.

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The death toll appears to be rising in North Carolina. From Jan. 7 through 13, 10 additional flu-related deaths were recorded. Influenza-related deaths in North Carolina are most prevalent in the senior population, aged 65 and over.

As of last week, approximately 8 percent of all hospital visits in region two of North Carolina, which includes Pender, Brunswick, Onslow and New Hanover counties, addressed flu-related symptoms.

Influenza rates over the last several years. Flu cases have been on the rise earlier than usual in 2017. (Port City Daily photo / COURTESY NORTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES)
Influenza rates over the last several years. Flu cases have been on the rise earlier than usual in 2017. (Port City Daily photo / COURTESY NORTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES)

Brunswick County is urging residents to get a flu shot and organizations like Brunswick Community College are offering vaccinations to faculty and staff free of charge.

Brunswick County’s release includes the warning signs of sickness in both adults and children.

For children, flu-related symptoms include:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash

Medical attention is needed immediately for an infant displaying any of the above symptoms, in addition to the signs listed below:

  • Being unable to eat
  • Has trouble breathing
  • Has no tears when crying
  • Significantly fewer wet diapers than normal

Flu-related symptoms in adults include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough

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