Four new flu deaths were reported in North Carolina last week, bringing the total number of deaths this flu season to 126, according to the North Carolina Department of Health.

The deaths were reported between March 12 and March 18.

Lee Christian School in Sanford canceled classes Thursday and Friday because about 10 percent of the 400 students enrolled in the school had the flu. The school has hired a company to clean the building to prevent further spreading of the illness.

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Some people — such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions — are at high risk for serious flu complications. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year.

“Make sure that you’re washing your hands, that you’re coughing into your elbow,” said WRAL’s Dr. Allen Mask. “Stay six feet from people who are sick. If you are an adult who are sick, be sure to stay home for about a week if you are diagnosed with the flu. Obviously if you’re a kid, parents you want to make sure to keep your kids at home, so they don’t spread it.

Read more…