Flu claims life of Raleigh woman

Judie Geer
January 27, 2011 7:46:42 PM PST
A grieving husband shared his story of loss with ABC11 Eyewitness News on Thursday in hopes of getting the word out about the importance of flu shots.

Joe Geer’s 66-year old wife Judie was unable to get a flu shot because she had a compromised immune system. Sadly, she became one of two flu-related deaths in North Carolina in the past week.

Judie had been undergoing treatment for MDS, a blood disorder similar to leukemia that affects blood cell production in the bone marrow. She became ill shortly after her most recent treatment cycle.

“Her temperature spiked up to 102.9, and so they said we better put you in the hospital,” Geer said. “They started running a battery of tests and by the fourth day, they finally determined that it was in fact the flu.”

Judie died on Tuesday.

The state is also reporting widespread cases in the past month, and flu season has not yet even hit its peak.

State Epidemiologist Megan Davies said, “There’s a lot of flu activity right now; a lot of people going to see their doctors.” She went on to say, “It’s in the schools, it’s in the workplace. It’s any place people congregate.”

Officials said they are expecting the increase in activity to continue for at least another six to eight weeks. They also said it is not too late to get a flu shot.

Joe Geer said he was immunized, and he says he hopes others will do the same.

“The key is, you’ve gotta take it seriously. It’s a very bad situation and there’s a lot of people that are like my wife that are just susceptible and unfortunately vulnerable.”

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