Raleigh, N.C. — The numbers of flu or flu-like illness in the state has dropped for the third week in a row, the state Department of Health and Human Services reported Thursday.
Influenza cases in the state appear to have peaked in late February and have shown a steady decline over the past three weeks, according to a press release from the department.
The latest report, for the week ending March 19, showed that health care providers reported 1.7 percent of patients seen that week had an influenza-like illness, down from 2.69 percent in the week ending March 8 and 4.21 percent in the week before that. The season high was 5.86 percent in the week ending Feb. 23.
Despite the decrease in cases, the department is warning people that the flu remains widespread in the state.
The state monitors influenza-like illness during the flu season. Public health experts determine how the flu is progressing across the state based on reports from seventy-six health care providers statewide who report the number of people they are seeing with flu or flu-like symptoms each week.
Symptoms of an influenza-like illness is a temperature of 100 degrees or greater and cough or sore throat.