Eight more flu-related deaths reported in NC; total climbs to 74
Posted February 20, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — Eight more people died from the flu in North Carolina last week, according to data released by the state Department of Health and Human Services.
Seventy-four people statewide have died of the flu since October, including one infant and two other children under the age of 18.
Adults ages 25 to 49 continue to be most affected, accounting for 30 deaths in North Carolina, followed by those ages 50 to 64, with 24 deaths. Fifteen people 65 or older have died of the flu, as have two people between the ages of 5 and 17.
Health privacy laws prohibit the DHHS from identifying flu victims or even releasing data like what county they may be from of whether they had been vaccinated.
A year ago, 59 people died from flu-related symptoms during the six-month flu season that runs from early October to mid-May. Adults ages 65 or older accounted for 36 of the 59 deaths in 2012-13, and nobody under 18 died from the flu.
The peak weeks of flu season generally occur in January and February.
The best protection against the flu is a flu shot, which is available for anyone 6 months old or older. It takes at least two weeks to build up a full immunity against the virus.
Hand-washing, coughing into your sleeve and keeping a safe distance from people with flu symptoms are practical ways to help prevent the spread of the flu.