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Flu season beginning to emerge after few cases seen last year

Numbers from just before the Christmas holiday show North Carolina is reporting lower flu activity, while South Carolina is already at a moderate level.
Published: Dec. 28, 2021 at 6:40 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 28, 2021 at 8:19 AM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV/AP) - As health officials keep an eye on COVID-19, they are also closely watching the number of flu cases being reported.

Last year saw the fewest number of flu cases in recorded history. This year, the number of cases being reported nationally and regionally are continuing to rise, which has doctors and health officials watching the spread.

Numbers from just before the Christmas holiday show North Carolina is reporting lower flu activity, while South Carolina is already at a moderate level.

Several neighboring states have higher levels of cases being reported and those numbers are expected to go up as the latest data shows the number of states with high flu activity has gone from three to seven.

Related: Flu is making a comeback in US after an unusual year off

Health officials believe there are more flu cases already because there aren’t as many COVID-19 protocols in place this year compared to last.

They’re also warning people that the type of virus spreading this year causes the largest amount of severe disease in the elderly and young.

So far, two children have died this flu season nationwide. Last year one child died from the flu in the entire season.

For comparison, 199 children died from the flu two years ago

Since there were so few flu cases last year, doctors say it’s made it harder to fine-tune this year’s flu shot.

Related: Flu vaccines do not match main circulating flu strain, researchers say

Still, health care officials say getting vaccinated is still the best aid in fighting the virus.

In N.C., one person has died of flu complications so far this flu season, officials said. That individual was an adult and they died the week of Dec. 6, according to health officials.

There have been two flu-related deaths in S.C. so far this flu season, according to health leaders.

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