NCDHHS: Number of flu cases at highest in the season now

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Don't let your guard down during flu season.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services says we shouldn't dismiss flu season just yet.

The 2014-2015 flu season saw more than 200 reported flu-related deaths in the state. So far there have been fewer than five reported flu deaths in North Carolina this season, but officials with NCDHHS said the flu season hasn't peaked yet. And the number of reported cases is climbing.

"We had hoped that the little peak that we saw around Christmas was maybe going to be it for the season, but it does seem that we are on an upswing now," said Dr. Zack Moore, and epidemiologist with NCDHHS.

"So you know we're hearing about a lot more flu outbreaks and severe flu cases," Moore continued, "and that's not just here North Carolina, that seems to be what's happening nationally."

RELATED - CDC: North Carolina Seeing Widespread flu activity

According to DHHS, the number of flu deaths is linked to many factors, but the type of flu strain is a significant factor.

Moore said the flu strain that was most prevalent in the state last year affected the elderly the most, but the prevalent strain this year is another story.

"Last year it was H3N2, which is a kind of flu that hits people over 65 the hardest. This year we're starting to see a lot more H1N1," Moore said.

"And the H1N1 virus tends to hit younger and middle-aged adults, and children, the hardest," he said.

More details on the current flu report summary here.

Read last year's flu summary here.

Check out the state health department's flu website here.

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