Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

It’s important to remember facts not fear when it comes to finding out more about the coronavirus and how to filter that information.  Need an answer now?  Dial 2-1-1 or 888-892-1162.  Sign up for updates by texting COVIDNC to 898211

For mental health resources in Western North Carolina the public is encouraged to call the  Vaya Health 24/7 Access to Care Line 800-849-6127 

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North Carolina health and public safety officials jumped ahead of President Trump’s news conference to update the state’s coronavirus preparedness efforts.  BPR’s Helen Chickering reports

NCDHHS

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is reporting the first influenza-associated pediatric death for the 2019–2020  flu season. Health officials say a child in Western North Carolina died in December from complications associated with influenza infection. To protect the family’s privacy, no further information regarding this child will be released.

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Update 10/16:  On the heels of the Legionnaires' outbreak linked to September's Mountain State Fair in Fletcher,  health officials are taking proactive measures as the N.C. State Fair in Raleigh prepares to open tomorrow.  BPR’s Helen Chickering reports.

CDC

Health officials have confirmed two cases of vaping-related lung illness in Buncombe County.  Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson Stacey Wood told BPR News few details are known about the cases at this time and it is unclear if the two are among the five North Carolina cases highlighted  in a September  report by the Centers for Disease Control.  

Asheville is hosting North Carolina’s tenth annual communicable disease conference this week. Public health professionals are learning about the latest infectious disease trends and the tools they need to prevent, detect and treat them.   This year also marks the 100th anniversary of Public Health Nurses in North Carolina.     

NC health officials say the meeting provides an opportunity to share evidence-based information and best practices for addressing public health problems and and communicable disease investigations. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

(Update: 11/29/18) The chicken pox outbreak that began at an Asheville private school in late October is far from over according to the Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services.  The latest numbers show 37 students at the Asheville Waldorf School along with 4 people in the community have contracted the virus.  Health officials are not releasing details about the additional cates, saying only rhat they are connected to the  outbreak at the school .  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a chicken pox outbreak is not declared over until 42 days have passed without a new case. 

In a statement on its website, the Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services says based on the timing of the most recent case in the community, the outbreak will continue into 2019.  The state health department says it's the largest chicken pox outbreak in the NC since the vaccine was introduced in 1995.  

The Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services says the chicken pox outbreak at an Asheville private school has now spread to more than 30 students. (update: 11/19/2018 - 36)   And as BPR’s Helen Chickering reports,  the school has a history of high vaccine exemption rates.

Governor Pat McCrory is calling for a total review of the U.S. National Whitewater Center's oversight after preliminary tests found a microorganism that may be linked to a woman's death. McCrory made the comments to the Charlotte Observer on Monday. But Mecklenburg County's health director doesn't know if better regulation would help in this case.

Epidemiologists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are testing for a microscopic organism at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. That's after a young woman died recently from a rare infection caused by that organism.