Dr. Todd Harris

February 21, 2018 – For those interested, here are some updates about influenza:

Flu Peaking? (Fingers Crossed)

Above is a graphic showing North Carolina Flu Statistics up to the week of February 10, 2018. It includes the current flu season (red line), last year (dark gray line) and two years ago (light gray line).

Interestingly, both of the previous flu seasons per this graphic peaked on the same week – the week of February 24th.

That thick, ever-growing, red line shows how this flu season has surpassed the previous two. Some recent national reports suggest that the number of new influenza cases are slowing down (leveling off). It is hard to conclude that from the above information but keep in mind that is North Carolina data only and includes numbers only through February 10th.

RCAM Flu Numbers Leveling Off? (Two Conflicting Opinions)

Our information is a bit limited – however, flu numbers from our Duraleigh office presented above show that both the number of flu tests RCAM performed and the number of tests positive for influenza have remained similar for the last two weeks.

  • Glass-half-full analysis: Flu is leveling off and soon should begin to decline. You may make plans now to come out of your house.
  • Glass-half-empty analysis: The Pediatricians at RCAM have been made aware that we have a limited number of flu test kits and so the “leveling off” is simply not testing the more obvious cases or situations where a positive test wouldn’t change what you would do (a viewpoint that justifies the actions of those who continue to “double wipe down” your shopping carts).

Either way you look at it – you probably don’t want to share a glass – half-full or half-empty – with anyone just yet.

Influenza Summary as of February 21, 2018

  1. There is still a lot of flu active nationally as well as here in our community. This pediatrician is not smart enough to know if it is slowing down but there are some signs to suggest it could be.
  2. Most people are doing very well, but stay on the lookout for signs of complications from the flu. Here is a good summary about what to look for from The New York Times.
  3. RCAM is being careful to follow the CDC recommendations for the use of Tamiflu. In short, Tamiflu is not recommended for everyone who gets the flu – only those at high risk for complications from the flu – like the very young (under 2), the elderly, or patients with underlying conditions like asthma and diabetes.
  4. Call our office with questions: 919-781-7490
  5. Get your child seen if they seem particularly sick – both those who fall into a high risk group as described here by the CDC as well as anyone – both healthy children and children considered high risk – who are showing signs that their illness could be getting severe.