Health officials report 20 more flu deaths in NC; 95 for the season

People are being encouraged to get flu shots even through the vaccine has been only 30% effective in combating the influenza. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Twenty more flu-related deaths have occurred in the state in the past week, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. 

The report issued listed 20 deaths, bringing the total to 95 for this flu season. In December 2017, North Carolina announced its first child death from flu for the 2017-18 flu season

People who think they might have the flu should contact their doctor right away to see if they need treatment with a prescription antiviral drug such as Tamiflu. Early treatment with an antiviral drug can help prevent flu infections from becoming more serious.

Related: 6-year-old NC girl dies just days after flu diagnosis

Treatment with a prescription antiviral drug is especially important for hospitalized patients, people with severe flu illness and people who are at high risk of serious flu complications based on their age or health.

Related: Charlotte-area hospitals to restrict access for visitors 12 and under due to spike in flu cases

Other precautions people can take to protect against the spread of flu and other viruses include:

  • Staying home when sick until fever-free for at least 24 hours
  • Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then discarding the tissue promptly
  • Washing hands frequently, preferably with soap and water

In the previous season, 219 people died in North Carolina from the flu. More information on flu and where people can get vaccinated, CLICK HERE.

For North Carolina's weekly influenza summary, CLICK HERE.