Twenty more people died from complications of the flu in North Carolina last week, and the death toll from the week before was revised upward, to 23, making these the deadliest two weeks in a late-arriving flu season, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.
The death toll from flu since the season started in early October has reached 110 in North Carolina, including five children under 18. The majority of those deaths, 74, occurred during the four weeks ending March 11.
Meanwhile, the prevalence of flu in North Carolina declined last week for the second week in a row. A state survey of clinics, hospitals and health departments last week found that a bit more than 5 percent of visits were for flu-like illnesses, down from the seasonal peak of nearly 8 percent the last full week of February.
The number of deaths this year has nearly doubled the 59 who died in all of last year’s flu season.
Most of this season’s deaths, 74, 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.