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Health officials respond to high level of flu activity

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TWC News: Health officials respond to high level of flu activity
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HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conduct weekly samplings across the nation, and currently, North Carolina is on the high level of flu cases with 13 deaths this season.

In response, hospitals and patients are taking extra precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.

Karen Redfern was one of the many patients feeling under the weather at Rex Express Care on Sunday.

"I got the flu shot in October, so I figure it's just a cold and not the flu, so I'm here to just make sure it's not the flu,” she said.

Many people are on edge as health officials warn about the high flu levels in North Carolina.

"Technically the flu season can range from about October to around May 1, so it can be spread out through late fall, winter and even early spring....However, in North Carolina, we currently seem to be approaching very high levels,” said Dr. Linwood Watson.

Some North Carolina hospitals have taken extra precautions to protect patients by temporarily limiting patients' visitors, making employees at UNC and REX Healthcare get the flu vaccination and encouraging patients to do the same.

However, some patients have other methods of flu protection.

"Well, you know as long as you just keep washing your hands and you are very cautious of the people around you, and you are not touching things that people are coughing on...you are basically not going to get sick,” said Kimberly Balsamo.

No matter how you protect yourself from the flu virus, health officials said if you feel sick like Redfern, it's always a good idea to visit your doctor.

"Considering the fact we can't predict the future, the only thing we can do is prepare for it,” said Dr. Watson.

Even though flu activity is high in North Carolina, public health officials said it isn't too late to get a flu vaccination.

They also recommend getting the vaccination as soon as possible, as it takes about two weeks for someone to fully respond to the vaccine.

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