The worst of the flu season appears to be over in North Carolina, as the prevalence of the viral illness has dropped off significantly in the past two weeks, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.
The flu season appears to have peaked in late February and continued to wane last week. A state survey of clinics, hospitals and health departments last week found that a bit more than 3 percent of visits were for flu-like illnesses, down from the peak of nearly 8 percent the last full week of February.
Four more people died from complications of the flu last week, bringing the seasonal death toll to 126. Most of those deaths, 97, occurred during the worst of the flu season, between early February and early March. Twenty-six died in the week ending March 11.
The number of deaths this year is more than double the 59 who died in all of last year’s flu season. Most of this season’s deaths, 88, have occurred among people 65 or older, a reflection that the most common strain of the virus this season – Influenza A H3N2 – tends to affect older people more severely.