Five new flu deaths were reported last week in North Carolina, bringing the total number of influenza-related deaths to 91 this flu season, according to data released Thursday by the state Department of Health and Human Services.

In comparison, 59 people in total died of the flu during the 2012-2013 season.

In recent weeks, it appeared the weekly total of influenza-related deaths was on a downward trend.

The weekly total peaked in late January when 12 deaths were reported by the state health agency.

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, 33 of the total number of deaths have occurred among adults aged 25 to 49, followed by people aged 50 to 64, with 32 deaths.

Twenty-one people aged 65 or older, four children, and one infant have died.

The H1N1 strain of flu, also known as the Swine Flu, has caused a majority of deaths in the state.

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.

Flu season typically runs through mid-May.