Health Team

15 new flu death reported in NC; total for season climbs to 156

Posted April 6, 2017 1:54 p.m. EDT

Fifteen new flu deaths were reported in North Carolina last week, bringing the total number of deaths for the season so far to 156, according to numbers released Thursday by the North Carolina Department of Health.

The latest deaths were reported between March 26 and April 1.

People over the age of 65 account for more than 90 of all flu-related deaths this year. The prevalent flu strain is influenza A-H3N2.

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.

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
Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea (most common in children)