The deadly flu season continued in North Carolina last week, as 5 more people died from complications of the viral illness, including a child, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.
Since the season began in early October, flu has killed 179 people in the state, including 7 children, according to the state’s tally. The majority – more than 120 – were people age 65 and older, a reflection on the fact that the most common strain of the viral disease, Influenza A H2N3, is particularly hard on seniors.
The death toll from flu can vary widely from season to season. In the 2011-2012 season, only 9 people died of flu in North Carolina, compared to 218 two years ago. Last year, flu killed 59 people in the state.
Also last week, the prevalence of flu in North Carolina continued to decline after spiking in late February and again in late March. A state survey of clinics, hospitals and health departments found that about 2 percent of visits were for flu-like illnesses last week, down from a peak of nearly 8 percent of visits in late February.