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Flu cases on the increase

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (NEWS RELEASE) -- The flu has hit hard and early, and the rush is on to try to prevent the spread of the virus. New Hanover County Health Department officials remind residents it is not too late to become vaccinated.

Already, 18 North Carolina residents have died from the flu this season. Hospitals across the country are also seeing an influx of patients seeking treatment. The Centers for Disease Control says the best prevention is to get a flu shot.

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

This year’s vaccine itself is highly effective against the most current strain of the virus. Complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes.

In addition to the vaccine, residents can help stop the spread of the flu by frequent hand washing, avoiding contact with sick people, and staying home from work or school if sick.

The number to schedule an appointment with the health department flu clinic is (910) 798-6646. Walk ins appointments are also available between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm Mondays through Fridays.

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