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Pandemic flu infections throughout North Carolina are so widespread that doctors and hospitals are dealing with an outbreak more typical of January or February, when seasonal flu spikes.
“Right now we're in the midst of a second wave,” said Dr. Jeffrey Engel, state health director. He said this wave – the first hit in May when the novel H1N1 erupted before tailing off in the summer – is likely to remain at a peak for a while more before it eases.
For the first week of September, the state reported 1,125 cases of flu-like illness
At its worst last winter, seasonal flu hit 719 people in North Carolina during one week in February.
Engel said he expects there will be a third wave of the pandemic flu, and it's likely to strike at the same time that seasonal flu begins circulating this winter.
According to recent analyses, 6 percent of patients who died from H1N1 infections in the early outbreak were pregnant women.