Five More Flu Deaths Reported In State

For the third week in a row, five people have died in our state because of the flu.

New figures out Thursday show 27 flu deaths through Saturday. Those figures do not include Monday's death of a baby here in the east who passed away due to flu complications.

Almost half of the deaths so far this year were people between the ages of 25 and 49. Nine people who died were between 50 and 64, while five were 65 years or older.

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An infant is the state's first child flu death of the season.

State health officials say the baby, from the eastern region of the state, died today due to complications associated with the flu. Due to privacy concerns, the state would not say which county the child was from.

The infant was too young to receive the flu vaccine, which means it was under six months.

Last week, DHHS officials reported 21 deaths due to the flu. Of those deaths, 19 were young and middle-aged adults.

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New figures out Thursday show another five people in North Carolina have died from the flu.

Those deaths happened last week, according to statistics from the Department of Health and Human Services.

So far, 21 people across the state have lost their lives this season because of the flu. More than half of the deaths were people under the age of 50. Just two were ages 65 and older.

One of those deaths occurred at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville.

Health officials said flu activity has been widespread in North Carolina since mid-December. Flu season typically peaks during January and February.

State Health Director Robin Gary Cummings is encouraging flu vaccination as the best protection, especially for women who are pregnant, people who are obese and people with medical conditions like heart disease or lung disease that place them at higher risk.

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Five more people have died from the flu within the past week, that according to the latest state figures.

That brings the number of deaths to 13 for the current flu season.

Last week saw the most deaths of any week as the number of flu cases also jumped across the state.

Of the 13 people who have died, seven are between the ages of 25 and 49 years old, five and between 50 and 64, and one is over 65.

Typically, children under 2, pregnant women, and people with asthma, diabetes and heart disease are the most at risk of complications from the flu.

Last week, several hospitals announced they were limiting visitors because of flu cases. At Vidant Medical Center, visitors to the children's hospital must be at least 12 years old.

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Public health officials say eight people have now died from the flu this season, including one here in Eastern Carolina.

Now, some hospitals are limiting visitors because of the flu.

Officials say the deaths vary in age groups, but no one 24 years old or younger has died from the flu this season. North Carolina's first three flu deaths this season were reported in early December.

Half of the deaths have come from the 25-49 age group, while three fall in the 50-64 range, and one was over 65.

Pitt County Health Director Dr. John Morrow says one of those eight deaths happened at Vidant Medical Center. But, Morrow told WITN that the victim was not a Pitt County resident.

Vidant, along with some other hospitals are now limiting visitors due to the flu. Vidant says in the Children's Hospital, those under 12 years of age cannot visit patients.

Flu season typically peaks during January and February. Complications from flu can be particularly dangerous for high risk groups including infants under 2, pregnant women, and people with conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease.