Record Setting Flu Season Deaths Keep Rising In NC

Mar 30, 2018

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Health officials in North Carolina say the death toll from the flu for the 2017-18 season has increased its record-setting total to 342.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services says 11 flu-related deaths were reported last week, and there were three deaths in previous weeks found to have resulted from the virus.

Of the 14 deaths, 13 were age 65 and older, while the other death involved someone between the age of 5 and 17.

Dr. Christopher Ohl, professor of infectious diseases at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, told the Winston-Salem Journal that there was a late, second wave of flu cases in March and early April last season, but he said that doesn't appear to be the case this season. 

On Friday, Park Ridge Health announced via a statement it was lifting visitor restrictions at its facilities that were put in place in part because of the strong flu season.  Park Ridge operates a hospital in Hendersonville and several medical offices in both Henderson and Buncombe Counties.  The visitor restrictions were first announced in December because of a whooping cough outbreak, but were continued in January when a surge of flu cases were reported.

(BPR's Matt Bush contributed to this story)