The prevalence of flu has continued to rise in North Carolina since the middle of January, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
Despite the relatively mild winter, the flu has been an issue across the state, with the Ohio Department of Health reporting 742 new confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations in the last week, up from the 576 new hospitalizations reported the week before.
Oklahoma County has seen five deaths and 272 hospitalizations related to the virus. Death rates fluctuate annually but have been reported as high as 49,000 in a single year. During a typical flu season, complications such as pneumonia send more than 200,000 Americans to the hospital.
The flu season began October 1 and typically ends March 31, although some seasons have lingered well into April.
So far this flu season, there have been 40 deaths in the state due to the flu, with most of those over 65 years of age.
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The other outbreaks were in nursing homes, she said.
"We extend our deepest sympathies to this child's family." said Anne Thomas, Interim Halifax County Health Director. Health officials state that it is not too late to get a flu shot - the vaccine takes effect in about two weeks.
Flu symptoms include a 100-degree Fahrenheit fever, cough and/or sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches, body aches, chills, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea.
If you think you've escaped the flu this year, think again.
To make a flu vaccination appointment, call a local Essentia Health Clinic or 218-828-7100.