According to Forsyth County Coroner Lauren McDonald, a 64-year-old man from Forsyth County died over the weekend from flu-related complications. It is the first flu-related death of 2018 in Forsyth County.
The name of the person who died has not yet been released.
According to Northside Hospital Forsyth officials, the number of flu cases in December 2017 more than doubled from the previous year.
In December 2016, 54 individuals were treated for the flu at Northside Hospital Forsyth. In December 2017, the hospital recorded a total of 135 patients seeking treatment for the flu.
“We are seeing an average of eight to 10 flu patients per day [currently] come into our emergency department, sometimes more,” said Lynn Jackson, Northside Hospital Forsyth administrator.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the influenza (flu) virus is a respiratory illness that attacks and infects the nose, throat and lungs.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website lists the following most common symptoms of the flu: fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue.
The illness is believed to be spread by “tiny droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes,” according to CDC’s website.
The website stated that flu is highly contagious and someone infected is most contagious in the first four days of the illness.
Anyone can get the flu, but people 65 years and older, people with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease), pregnant women and children can be more susceptible to the virus.
The CDC’s website recommended that the “most important step in preventing flu is to get a flu vaccination each year,” and practicing everyday preventative actions like, “staying away from people who are sick, covering coughs and sneezes and frequent handwashing” to help slow the spread of flu germs and other illnesses.