RALEIGH, N.C. – Twenty flu deaths were reported in North Carolina for the week ending March 11, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. While flu activity has started to decrease in the state, the virus continues to be widespread.
The number of influenza-associated deaths reported this season, which started Oct. 2, is 110.
“North Carolinians should continue to take precautions and not let down their guard,” said State Epidemiologist Zack Moore, MD, MPH.
Antiviral medications are available to treat flu infections. People who think they might have the flu and are at high risk for severe complications should contact their doctor right away to see if antiviral medications might be needed. High risk groups include those with underlying conditions like asthma or heart disease, pregnant women, people older than 65 and children younger than 5.
Precautions that everyone should use to protect against the spread of flu and other viruses include:
- Wash hands frequently, with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then discard the tissue promptly
- If you are sick, stay home until you have been fever free for at least 24 hours
For more information on flu and to find out where you can get a flu vaccination in your community, visit www.flu.nc.gov.