CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- With last week being the deadliest in North Carolina so far this flu season, doctors say it's not too late to keep yourself or your child from becoming a victim.

It's just been so scary past couple years with people who have contracted the flu, said parent Madison Mooneyham.

Mooneyham brought her 5-year-old daughter into Kids First Pediatrics for treatment for an ear infection. Not as bad as the flu, but this mother takes no chances and always gets her children vaccinated.

Doctor Holly Smith says most parents feel the same.

A large number of our patients have been immunized this year, and I think that really has helped, too.
We haven't seen as many as some other years

But it has been a deadly flu season: There have been 44 total deaths so far, with last week being the most deadly of the season with a total of 11. And most of the deaths are not young children or elderly individuals.

Different flu strains affect different ages; this one going around this year has been disproportionately affecting people between 18 and 54, Dr. Smith explained.

Also Dr. Smith says the holiday break was a good reprieve for kids spreading germs

It seemed that after those two weeks when they got back to school the numbers were down a little bit. We just weren't as busy in general and didn't have as many flu cases, she continued.

Despite the spike in flu deaths last week, Dr. Smith says it s not too late to get the flu vaccine.

It may be starting to taper off, but sometimes there's more than one strain so we can get a rise in a different strain coming through later on

Remember it takes more than a week for a vaccination to be effective, so sooner rather than later is better, and make sure to call your doctor s office; some are already out of Flu Mist.

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