One person died from the flu last week in North Carolina, continuing the declining trend of influenza-related deaths in recent weeks, according to data released Thursday by the state Department of Health and Human Services.
Eighty-six people in total have died of the virus statewide since flu season began in October of last year. In comparison, 59 people in total died of the flu during the 2012-2013 season.
The weekly total peaked in late January when 12 deaths were reported by DHHS.
Except for a spike in mid-February, the numbers have steadily declined. The one death reported last week is the lowest weekly total recorded this flu season, which runs until mid-May.
Typical seasonal flus tend to impact very young children with underdeveloped immune systems or the elderly who have weakened immune systems. But for the 2013-2014 flu season, 62 of the total number of deaths have occurred among adults aged 25 to 64.
Nineteen people aged 65 or older, four children, and one infant have died.
The best way to prevent contracting the flu is aggressive hand washing and getting the flu vaccine.
It is not too late for people to get their annual flu shot, but it does take two weeks after inoculation for the antibodies to develop in your body and become effective. The Center for Disease Control recommends that people six months and older get vaccinated for the flu.