Three more people died of complications of the flu in North Carolina last week, but the number of flu-like illnesses dropped, signaling that what has been a relatively mild flu season may have peaked.
Eight people have now died of the flu in the state as of last Friday, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services. It’s the fewest deaths from flu since 2011-2012, when nine died during the entire season. Last year, flu killed 218 people.
Five of the eight deaths this season have been among people ages 25 to 49, and none were children.
The percentage of patients with flu-like illnesses shot up late last month, but declined last week, to less than 4 percent, according to a weekly survey of clinics around the state.
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Besides getting vaccinated, the best way to keep from getting the flu is to avoid contact with people who have flu-like symptoms and to wash hands frequently with soap and water.