Health department confirms 5 flu deaths in North Carolina so far in the 2018-19 season

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services released Thursday that the state saw one new flu death last week, bringing the total to five for the season.

During the 2017-2018 flu season, 391 deaths were reported in North Carolina, making it one of the deadliest flu seasons the state has seen.

Of those 391 deaths, 290 were people age 65 and older and seven were children under the age of 18.

The department of health defines a flu-related death as a "death resulting from a clinically compatible illness that was confirmed to be influenza by an appropriate laboratory or rapid diagnostic test with no period of complete recovery between the illness and death."

The CDC recommends vaccination against the flu for everyone 6 months and older.

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