ICYMI: Flu Now Blamed For 95 Deaths In NC

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CHARLOTTE, NC — The flu is widespread in North Carolina, with 20 new flu-related deaths reported this week. The deaths bring the state’s overall death toll to 95 since flu season began in October, according to data from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

“It has been a tough flu season so far this year. And while flu activity is beginning to go down in parts of the country, it remains high for most the U.S., with some areas still rising,” said Dr. Dan Jernigan, director of the Influenza Division in the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at CDC during a Jan. 26 flu update.

Jernigan said that while country is thought to be about halfway through the flu season and that there is still benefit in getting a flu shot, some parts of the country are reporting flu vaccine shortages.

“CDC is in regular contact with influenza antiviral manufacturers regarding supply and other issues,” Jernigan said. “Some manufactures are reporting delays in filling orders and CDC is aware of spot shortages of antiviral drugs specifically for alsotamiver suspension and for generic alsotamavir capsules, these are happening in some places where there high influenza activity.”

Some pharmacies in the Raleigh, North Carolina area are running low or are completely out of the vaccine, according to a News & Observer report. The shortages are likely “temporary localized shortages,” North Carolina Board of Pharmacy Executive Director Jack Campbell IV told the newspaper. Pharmacists must place orders months ahead of time and likely will not receive extra shipments, which means people seeking a flu shot will likely need to call around to confirm they are in supply. “This is why it’s a good idea to get your flu shot early in the year,” he told the newspaper.

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SEE ALSO: Flu Vaccine Supplies Running Low In NC: How To Find One

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