6 more in NC dead of flu

With North Carolina’s flu season ebbing, state health officials said Thursday that the virus had claimed six more lives last week, fewer than half the toll the week before and down from a peak of 40 in the week ending Jan. 3.

That brought the total number of flu deaths for the season in the state to 164. The dominant strain of the virus this year is particularly dangerous for older adults, and nearly all the patients who have died from complications of flu – 137 of them – were over the age of 64.

Other markers of new infections also continued to trail off, according to the new data. Those included the number of patients appearing at hospitals and clinics with illnesses that bore the symptoms of flu. Also, the number of hospital patients admitted for acute respiratory illness was down more than half from the beginning of the year.