Flu deaths increase to 146 as respiratory virus cases decline across North Carolina

Elaina Athans Image
Wednesday, January 17, 2024
North Carolina flu deaths this year jump to 146
The NCDHHS report increased the season's flu death toll by 50, including 24 deaths that happened in the last week.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- For the second straight week, North Carolina hospitals are seeing fewer cases of respiratory illnesses.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reports a decline in flu, COVID-19 and RSV for the most recent week of data available.

Respiratory virus symptoms made up 13.5 percent of emergency room visits last week. That's a decrease from the week before.

However, 50 new flu deaths were added to the season's total. NCDHHS said 24 of those deaths happened in the last week, while the other 26 happened earlier in the season but had not yet been added to the total for various reasons.

There's now a total of 146 people who have died from the flu in North Carolina during the 2023-2024 season.

Of those deaths, 90 were people over the age of 65 and three were people under the age of 5. Another four deaths claimed the lives of children between the ages of 5 and 17.

Medical professionals are strongly encouraging people to get their flu and COVID shots, saying it could be another two or three months before we're out of flu season.

COVID-19 hospitalizations are also still trending higher than expected.

There's a daily average of more than 990 people in the hospital for COVID-19 statewide.