BCHHS Public Health alert: Flu Season Update

November 3, 2016

Influenza activity in NC and the southeastern US so far this season remains low overall, including locally.

However, there have already been 2 flu-associated deaths in NC since the official start of flu season on 10/2/16.

  • One was in an 18-24 year old and the other in a 65+ year old.

o   These were not Buncombe County residents, and we do not know their vaccination status nor whether they had any underlying health problems.

As a reminder, physicians in North Carolina are required to report all influenza-associated deaths (adult and pediatric) to their Local Health Department.

  • An influenza-associated death = a death resulting from a clinically compatible illness confirmed to be influenza (any strain) by an appropriate laboratory or rapid diagnostic test

Please continue to encourage everyone 6 months of age and older to get immunized against the flu.

  • Buncombe County Health and Human Services has an ample supply of various types of flu shots so feel free to refer unvaccinated individuals to us.

o   Our Immunization Clinic is located on the ground floor at 53 S. French Broad Ave. and is open 8:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday-Friday.

o   We will work with all individuals we see to get them whatever immunizations they may need, regardless of payor source.

Guidance for healthcare professionals related to influenza vaccination, testing and treatment is available at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/index.htm.

As always, if you have any questions about this or other communicable diseases, please contact me or the Buncombe County Communicable Disease staff at 250-5109 (available 24/7).

For immunization questions, you may wish to contact the Buncombe County Health and Human Services Immunization Clinic at 250-5096.