7 new flu deaths reported in NC, bringing total to over 300 for season

7 new flu deaths reported in NC, bringing total to over 300 for season

NORTH CAROLINA (WBTV) - Seven new flu deaths have been reported in North Carolina, bringing the total to over 300 for the season.

The flu season started October 1. North Carolina health officials say the seven new flu deaths were reported between March 4 and March 10.

There has been a total of 305 flu deaths reported in North Carolina for this season. There has been more than 200 flu deaths in South Carolina.

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There are some signs of improvement.

The flu restrictions that have been in effect for Charlotte-area in-patient hospitals will be lifted on Friday, Atrium Health announced Thursday.

In early 2018, Charlotte-area hospitals restricted access for visitors under 12 due to the growing number of flu cases. Officials said the restrictions will be lifted at 7 a.m. on Friday due to a "significant drop in the number of patients being seen with flu-like symptoms."

Health officials said nearly three percent of patients are being seen for flu-like illnesses in March compared to around twelve percent of people who were seen regarding the flu in February.

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.

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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.