The number of confirmed flu cases and flu-related deaths are on the rise, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported last week.
Since the start of flu season, which began on October 2, 63 people in North Carolina have died from the flu. That's four more than died during all of last year's flu season.
Influenza, or flu, is widespread throughout most of North Carolina.
Nash County Health Director Bill Hill said the health department did not have any specific figures for flu deaths in Nash County but said there had been an increase in the number of flu cases.
"Nash County, like much of the state, has recently experienced an increased spike in the number of flu cases," Hill said. "Older adults are feeling the hardest hit, as is usually the case with more compromised immune systems."
Hill said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that vaccinations are the single best way to prevent seasonal flu.
But, Hill said, other tips to protect against the flu include avoiding close contact with people who are sick, staying home when you are sick, covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, washing your hands often, avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces at home.
Other tips include getting plenty of rest and drinking plenty of fluids and exercising.
For more information on flu, visit www.flu.nc.gov.