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Health officials warn of bad flu season

Cropped Photo: Hannah Smith / KOMU / Flickr / CC BY 2.0{ }

According to health officials, two people in North Carolina have died from the flu so far this season.

"Influenza H3N2 is a strain of the flu virus that is causing severe illness in Australia, and it’s heading our way," Dr. Jennifer Mullendore, Medical Director at Buncombe County Health and Human Services, explained. "It’s associated with really bad flu seasons, where we see high numbers of sick elderly and high numbers of fatalities."

Dr. Mullendore said 219 people died in North Carolina from the flu last year, 13 of whom were in Buncombe County.

"The flu is underestimated for how severe it can be, so people need to respect it," Dr. Mullendore said.

According to the Center for Disease Control, flu season begins the end of October and peaks in December.

Dr. Mullendore says it's particularly important for people to stay home when they're sick, wash their hands, and get a flu shot.

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