17 new flu deaths; 165 for the season, NC health officials say

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Even though flu deaths continue to rise in North Carolina, one doctor says he’s seeing the number of cases he’s treating going down.

Thursday, North Carolina Health Care officials announced 17 more people died from the flu this past week. That brings the total number of cases in North Carolina this year up to 165.

In Garner, Dr. Ronnie Laney says it’s been a busy year for the flu.

“Over the last two weeks, I’ve probably diagnosed between five and eight a day,” he said.

Laney works at Nextcare Urgent Care. He says the numbers of cases he’s seen in his officer this year are not the norm.

“This has certainly been the worst year I’ve seen,” said Laney.

Laney says for the first time all season, he is seeing the number of cases he treats go down. However, Laney says these numbers do not mean we’re in the clear.

“It’ may have peaked, but we’re still going to see cases come,” said Laney.

Laney says he is seeing a drop in Influenza A cases, but he is starting to see Influenza B cases starting to rise.

Laney says the flu shot protects against both of these flu strains. He says even though it’s late into the winter and temperatures are rising, if you haven’t gotten a flu shot it’s not too late.

“It’s still a good idea to get the flu shot now. Even though it’s considered late into the season, the virus is still very active,” said Laney.

He says one thing that is always a good idea to keep the flu away, is making sure to wash your hands with soap and water.

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