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Across the state, there have been nearly 150 flu deaths this season, including one in Wilson that occurred in late February.
It was the first confirmed death associated with flu for Wilson County this season, according to health department officials. The patient was not a child, but a person who had underlying health issues, officials said.
Seven new flu deaths were reported in the state from March 10 through March 16, bringing this year’s statewide total to 148, according to Thursday’s released figures from N.C. Health and Human Services.
Flu activity typically peaks between December and February and can last as late as May, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2017-18, flu season peaked in North Carolina during mid-February, while the 2016-17 season peaked in late February, officials said.
Wilson Medical Center has seen a decrease in flu numbers recently, said Lisa Briley, the hospital’s director of marketing development. Briley said the flu peaked around the week of Feb. 3-9, and is continuing to show decreasing numbers each week.
“However, we are not at a point in which we are able to lift the flu restrictions,” she said.
Those visitor restrictions have been in place for nearly the entire season to prevent the spread of flu and other seasonal sickness.
No one under 12 should visit patient care areas. No individuals exhibiting flu-like symptoms are permitted to visit any patient care areas unless seeking medical treatment, hospital officials said. Restriction signs are displayed at the hospital’s main entryways. There are hygiene stations set up that contain masks, tissues and alcohol-based hand sanitizers for anyone visiting the hospital.
Visitors who must enter the facility for medical treatment should wear a mask to prevent the spread of illness to others, officials said. Health officials said it’s important to cover your mouth with your elbow or a tissue whenever you sneeze or cough and wash your hands.