Raleigh, N.C. — Eleven more people died of the flu in North Carolina last week, including the third child victim, officials said Thursday.
Ninety flu-related deaths have been reported statewide this season. Fifty-four of the deaths were people age 65 or older, while 22 were ages 50 to 64 and 11 were ages 25 to 49.
But the flu may have peaked in the state.
The number of people statewide who tested positive for the flu dropped after soaring in recent weeks. Only 1,107 positive results were reported last week, down from a high of 1,342 the previous week. The number of people admitted to North Carolina hospitals with acute respiratory illness also plummeted from about 400 to 300.
Nationwide, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there have been at least 26 million flu illnesses, 250,000 hospitalizations and 14,000 deaths from flu so far this season.
The CDC recommends flu vaccinations for everyone 6 months of age and older.
For those who have been diagnosed with the flu, CDC guidelines say patients should:
- Stay home when sick until fever-free for at least 24 hours.
- Wash hands frequently, preferably with soap and water.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then discard the tissue promptly.