Health Team

16 NC residents die from flu complications in 1 week

Posted March 2, 2017 2:49 p.m. EST
Updated March 2, 2017 10:52 p.m. EST

— Sixteen people died in one week as a result of the flu in North Carolina, according to the North Carolina Division of Public Health.

The deaths were reported between Feb. 19 and Feb. 25, bringing the total number of deaths in the state to 63 since flu season began in October.

“It saddens me but it doesn’t surprise me. We see so many people coming in ill, and some of them are obviously very ill with this and it’s always sad because it’s very much a preventable illness,” said WakeMed Dr. Michael Klinkner.

For the week ending in Feb. 25, WakeMed reported 286 positive flu tests out of 1,461 tests ordered.

"We are having a particularly late season this year, and it is particularly severe," Klinkner said. "I am pessimistic that we have any less than two, maybe three weeks to go through this."

Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and prevention said the flu was widespread in the state.

The number of flu-related deaths in North Carolina are higher than last year, but lower than the year before, when more than 200 people died.

Doctors suggest regular hand-washing and getting a flu shot. If you do get sick, they emphasize staying home to keep from spreading the illness.