Health Team

Two more flu deaths reported in NC

Posted February 4, 2011 6:03 p.m. EST
Updated February 7, 2011 3:59 p.m. EST

— Two people have died from the flu since Saturday, bringing the total number of deaths in the state this flu season to 10, state Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman Julie Henry said Friday.

The names for the patients were not released, but Henry said one was an adult and the other was a pediatric patient under 18 years old.

Henry said the cause of death for each was determined to be the flu, but it is unknown if either suffered from a pre-existing condition.

It is also unknown if either person had received the flu vaccine.

The flu vaccine is recommended for anyone over 6 months old. Health officials say it is especially important for people at high risk of complications, including pregnant women, people with chronic diseases, very young children and the elderly.

One out of every four flu deaths last year was in healthy people with no underlying medical problems, according to the DHHS.

This year’s flu vaccine protects against three strains of influenza, including H1N1.

The flu remains on the rise in the state, with the number of cases picking up since the end of December, Henry said.