NC flu deaths increase to 27
Posted January 16, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — Five more people died from flu in North Carolina last week, bringing the total number of influenza-related deaths to 27 for the 2013-14 season, according to statistics released Thursday.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said the new deaths occurred between Jan. 5 and Jan. 11
On Monday, the state reported its first child flu death for the season – an infant in the eastern part of the state who died from complications of the illness because the child was too young to receive a flu vaccination.
That death was not included because the child died two days after the period when deaths are counted. That death will be included in next week's figures.
The state began counting flu deaths since October.
Since then, 13 people from age 25 to 49 have died of flu, along with nine who were between 50 and 64. Five people age 65 or older also have died, more than doubling the number in the age group from last week.
High levels of flu activity are expected over the coming weeks as flu season typically peaks during 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.