NC data: Swine flu already rivaling seasonal fluhttp://www.reflector.com/news/state/nc- ... 56288.html
Thursday, September 24, 2009
RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina is already seeing one of the most active flu seasons in recent record keeping, an early indication of how widespread the swine flu pandemic could become.
The number of reported flulike patients has spiked since the beginning of the school year.
For three consecutive weeks, health providers have been reporting that more than 5 percent of patients have influenza-like symptoms. Those figures rival the peak of other flu seasons during this decade.
During the week ending Sept. 12, nearly 7 percent of people who sought care at facilities in the health reporting network had flulike illnesses, defined as a fever of at least 100 degrees along with a cough or sore throat. That was up from less than 2 percent just two weeks prior. Of available figures dating back to 2001, only one other week recorded a higher percentage of sick patients — a week in December 2003 at the height of that winter's exhausting flu seasons.
The flu problem appears to be radiating out of the South with the start of the school year. Now, nearly half of states have "widespread" flu activity, according to the CDC.