RALEIGH (AP) - Health officials in North Carolina say eight more people died of flu-related illnesses last week, raising the death toll to 74 for the season dating back to November.
The state Department of Health and Human Services, which released the figures Thursday, says 54 of those deaths involved people between the ages of 24 and 65. Five victims were children, and another 15 were older than 65.
One of last week's flu victims was identified as pediatric.
A year ago, 59 people died from flu-related symptoms during the six-month flu season that runs from early October to mid-May.
Last week, DHHS reported that seven people died from the flu. In each of the previous two weeks, the department said 11 people died from the flu.
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New flu death numbers in North Carolina are out, and health officials aren't happy with the rising trend.
North Carolina health officials say seven more people died last week due to the flu.
In all this flu season, 64 people in the state have died from the flu. The trend is heading toward record numbers.
Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Kathy Sheppard says, "Actual flu cases in Pitt County have dropped, but there's still lots of flu in surrounding counties. So like I said, it doesn't mean we're out of the woods yet."
According to health officials, a majority of flu deaths were from the 25 to 49 year age range.
Doctors still say the best way to prevent getting the flu is to get a flu shot.
Anyone over the age of 6 months old can get a flu vaccine.
State health officials say seven more people have died from the flu in North Carolina, bringing the total number of deaths for this season to 64.
The new deaths were reported in the week beginning Feb. 2. The state Department of Health and Human Services says adults ages 25 to 49 account for 25 of the deaths, followed by 21 deaths among people ages 50 to 64.
Fifteen people 65 or older have died of the flu. The flu also has killed one infant and two children between ages 5 and 17.
A year ago, 59 people died from flu-related symptoms during the six-month flu season that runs from early October to mid-May. Adults ages 65 or older accounted for 36 of the 59 deaths in 2012-13.
Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.