12 new flu deaths reported in NC, bringing total to 276 for season

12 new flu deaths reported in NC, bringing total to 276 for season
WBTV graphic

NORTH CAROLINA (AP/WBTV) - Twelve new flu deaths have been reported in North Carolina, bringing the total to 276 for the season.

The flu season started October 1. North Carolina health officials say the 12 new flu deaths were reported between Feb. 25 and March 3. There have been more than 200 flu deaths in South Carolina.

There are some signs of improvement.

According to WIS, the total number of flu cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in South Carolina dropped in the last week. DHEC reported 34 more lab confirmed deaths, but 26 of those can be attributed to previous weeks, WIS reported.

The flu season usually runs through May.

DHEC says the flu shot is the best protection against the flu. The agency is waiving administrative for the flu shot at its public health clinics.

RELATED: How do people die from the flu?

Multiple flu infections in the same person are rare but not unheard of.

"It would be bad luck but it has happened - based on strains," said Michael Anthony "Tony" Moody, chief medical officer of Duke University's Human Vaccine Institute. "The strains tend not to circulate at the same time. You can catch them back to back to back like that."

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper is urging people to protect themselves against the virus.

"We're in the middle of a nationwide flu epidemic and I'm asking North Carolinians to do their part to stay healthy and stop the flu from spreading," Cooper said in a statement.

Copyright 2018 WBTV. The Associated Press contributed to this article. All rights reserved.