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17 new flu deaths reported last week in NC

Posted March 9

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— Seventeen new flu deaths were reported in North Carolina last week, bringing the total number of flu deaths this flu season to 83, according to data released Thursday by the North Carolina Division of Public Health.

WRAL’s Dr. Allan Mask said flu season this year is peaking a little later than normal.

The deaths were reported between Feb. 26 and Mar. 4. Between Feb. 19 and Feb. 25, 16 people died from the flu.

“Some people think the flu is just as bad as a cold but it’s really not,” Mask said. ‘We’re talking about a high fever, headache, chills, body aches. This is not your common cold.”

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Some people — such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions — are at high risk for serious flu complications. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year.

“Make sure that you’re washing your hand, that you’re coughing into your elbow,” Mask said. “Stay six feet from people who are sick. If you are an adult who are sick, be sure to stay home for about a week if you are diagnosed with the flu. Obviously if you’re a kid, parents you want to make sure to keep your kids at home, so they don’t spread it.”

Flu symptoms include:

  • A 100 degree or higher fever or feeling feverish (not everyone with the flu has a fever)
  • A cough and/or sore throat
  • A runny or stuffy nose
  • Headaches and/or body aches
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea (most common in children)

It is not too late in the season to get a flu shot. The flu season can run through May.

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