3 flu deaths in NC last week, number of weekly cases declines amid coronavirus fears

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Three people died from the flu in North Carolina last week, according to data from the Department of Health Human Services.

Since October, health officials said 134 people have died from complications related to the flu.

Out of 4,000 tested patients, hospital epidemiologists reported under 800 cases in the week from March 1 through March 7. Though that number has been declining in recent weeks, health officials said the flu is still considered to be geographically widespread.

More than 100 of the total deaths statewide have been in adults over 50 years old. Four children have died from flu-related complications, including one under 4 years old.

Health officials said the best way to prevent the flu is to get an annual flu shot. It is unclear at this time if any people who have died from the flu this year got their influenza vaccination because health officials do not provide that data. In addition, residents should wash their hands frequently, stay home if sick and avoid contact with anyone showing symptoms.

The data comes as North Carolina grapples with at least 15 cases of the novel coronavirus, including a Durham County resident who was diagnosed out of state. All of the patients are in isolation at home as health officials work to identify any potential contacts of those cases.
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