26 people now dead from flu statewide

Photo: MGN

The flu epidemic is growing in North Carolina, with 26 deaths now linked to the virus.

There were four new deaths this week.

Doctors are stressing that you get your flu shot. This year's vaccine offers protection from three of four strains.

The different strains circulate during different times of the year.

You could have Type A flu early in the season, and then get Type B later.

The vaccine will protect you year-round.

"It always concerns us in public health when people take a casual attitude towards the flu. We have years where we have much more issues than other years but there's always issues and there are deaths every year," said Dr. Sue Lynn Ledford, Wake public health director.

Two people in the Triangle died from the flu this week.

Hospital officials there are reporting a sharp increase in flu cases, with 208 people treated in the last week or so.