NORTH CAROLINA – Ten more people died from the flu in North Carolina last week, according to figures released Thursday by the State Department of Health and Human Services.

Fifty-six people in total have died of the influenza-related complications statewide since flu season began in October of last year.

DHHS reported 12 deaths for the week of January 19 through January 25, which is the highest weekly total so far.

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, 22 of the total number of deaths have occurred among adults aged 25 to 49, followed by people aged 50 to 64, with 19 deaths.

One infant and two children between ages 5 and 17 have died as well.

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

Health experts warn that the number of flu cases typically increases in January and February, though deaths were reported as late as May in 2013.

The best way to prevent against 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.

The antiviral medication TAMIFLU® can reduce the severity and duration of symptoms if you do come down with the flu.

The flu vaccine is offered at the Orange County Health Department. To find other locations where the vaccine is administered, click here.