No new flu deaths reported for 2nd week in a row as coronavirus deaths continue to rise

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- As the novel coronavirus and its disease, COVID-19, continues to spread in North Carolina, the virus has killed more people in the state than the flu.

For the second week in a row, North Carolina health officials reported no new flu deaths for the week beginning on April 12 and ending April 18.

In total, 177 people have died from flu-related complications since October, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. As of Thursday, 253 people have died from COVID-19 in the state.

Hospital epidemiologists only reported 2 positive influenza tests out of 1,391 tests last week. By comparison, health officials reported 1,620 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 out of 14,072 tests in the same week.

The geographic distribution of the flu virus in North Carolina was downgraded to "local" from a "regional" distribution in the previous week.

CORONAVIRUS MAP: Tracking COVID-19 across North Carolina

To date, at least 7,608 cases of COVID-19 have been reported statewide. While COVID-19 data is available daily, heath officials update data for flu deaths once per week.

While--unlike the flu--there is no vaccine for COVID-19, health officials recommend the same prevention techniques for both illnesses--frequently washing your hands with soap and water, avoiding others who are sick and covering your nose and mouth while coughing or sneezing.

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The coronavirus has several similarities to the flu, but there are also key differences.

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