Flu activity particularly bad this year in Virginia, North Carolina

Posted at 7:28 PM, Jan 02, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-02 19:28:06-05

Flu activity is particularly bad this season in both Virginia and North Carolina.

A map from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that both states fall in the red zone, which is the highest for reported flu cases.

14 people have died from flu-associated deaths so far this season in North Carolina according to statistics from the North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services.

There have been no flu-related deaths so far in Virginia according to the Virginia Department of Health.

Dr. Robert Gormley at Patient First on Battlefield Blvd. in Chesapeake says their offices have been flooded with folks suffering from the flu over the past three weeks.

"We’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of cases here in our office and actually all of Tidewater," Dr. Gormley said. "I would say this is definitely going to be one of the worst years we’ve seen in at least the last few years."

Dr. Gormley says one reason the flu might be particularly bad this season is because last season was fairly mild.

"Because we didn’t see much in the way of the flu last year, a lot of people didn’t get the chance to be exposed to it last year. Probably for a lot of people in the general population, their resistance to the flu is low," Dr. Gormley explained.

Dr. Gormley says this strain of the flu is highly contagious and coming on strong.

"This particular flu, in what I’ve been able to observe so far, is the kind of flu that hits you hard right from the get go instead of building up gradually," Dr. Gormley stated. "What it’s doing is bringing in patients sooner than what I’ve seen in past years, which is actually a good thing."

You can check out flu data from Virginia by clicking here and data from North Carolina by clicking here.

If you need to find out where to get a flu shot in your area, click here.