RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- As North Carolina deaths from the novel coronavirus continue to climb, the state reported two deaths related to severe complications from the flu last week.
According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, as of Saturday, 185 people had died from the flu in North Carolina since October. On the same day, the state reported 420 deaths due to severe complications from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
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Last week, hospital epidemiologists reported two positive flu tests out of 1,273 total tests. That's compared to 2,679 COVID-19 cases out of 31,581 tests.
Both diseases disproportionately affect those older than 65 years old. Of the 185 flu deaths reported for the season, 105 are in patients 65 and older. Approximately 86 percent of all COVID-19 deaths have been in the same age group.
Flu death data is updated every Thursday for the previous week. To date, 13,397 cases of COVID-19 and 507 deaths have been reported in North Carolina.
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.
North Carolina reports 2 flu deaths last week as coronavirus deaths continue to climb