Only one person died of complications from the flu in North Carolina last week, and UNC Hospitals has lifted most of its flu-related visitor restrictions as a particularly deadly flu season in the state winds down.
Since the flu season began last October, 183 people have died from the viral illness, including 7 children under age 18. The large majority of deaths occurred among people age 65 and older.
UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill barred children under age 12 from visiting patient rooms and inpatient waiting rooms in late January to help prevent the spread of the flu. A spokesman said those restrictions were lifted this week because the number of flu cases has declined.
Duke University Health System hospitals and surgery centers announced in early April that they had lifted flu-related restrictions on patient visits that had been put in place in February.
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The weekly survey of clinics, hospitals and health departments by the state Department of Health and Human Services found that a little more than 1 percent of patient visits were related to flu-like illness last week, down from a recent peak of about 6 percent in late March.