Health department confirms 16 flu deaths in North Carolina so far in the 2018-19 season

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Thursday, January 10, 2019
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AccuWeather shares tips on how to protect yourself from the flu.

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- A total of 16 people in North Carolina have died from the flu this season, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

The latest flu numbers were released Jan. 5.

In North Carolina, 391 flu deaths were reported during the 2017-2018 flu season -- the most reported during a flu season since adult flu deaths became reportable in the state in 2009.

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

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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."

Officials are already reporting that influenza cases are higher than this time a year ago.

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