Another person died of the flu in North Carolina last week, in a season that is proving to be much milder than last year.
Altogether, 4 people have died of complications from the flu this year, according to the weekly influenza report from the state Department of Health and Human Services. At the same time last season, the death toll from flu in the state was 184.
The number of flu-like illnesses reported by a network of outpatient clinics in the state hit a seasonal high last week, according to the report. More than 3 percent of people visiting the clinics reported flu-like illnesses, compared to a little more than 2 percent the week before. At the peak of last season, nearly 9 percent of patients at those clinics had flu-like illnesses.
All four people who have died of the flu this year were adults, only one age 65 or older. Flu deaths are often most common among the elderly or people with compromised immune systems.
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Besides getting vaccinated, the best way to avoid getting the flu is to avoid contact with people who have flu-like symptoms and to wash hands frequently with soap and water.