This article appeared in the Charlotte Observer. Read the full story here.

Another flu-related death has been reported in North Carolina, health officials said.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported a slight uptick in flu-like illnesses before Thanksgiving — at least 44 people statewide tested positive for the virus in the week ending Nov 23.

A total of three flu-related deaths have been reported this flu season, two of whom were people over 65 years old, according to the agency’s weekly flu report. A third was between 25 and 49.

The report does not indicate where they lived in the state.

But health officials said North Carolina’s first flu-related death was an adult in the central part of the state during the first week of October, the Raleigh News & Observer reported. The second occurred during the week of Nov. 3 through Nov. 9.

At least 208 flu-related deaths were recorded in the 2018-2019 season, compared with 391 in 2017-2018, according to N.C. DHHS.

Flu season hit its peak in February both years. But officials have predicted the United States could see a particularly bad flu season this year, McClatchy news group reported.

“Those at high risk for serious flu complications include older people, young children, people with certain health conditions or compromised immune systems,” officials warned.

Symptoms include a fever higher than 100.4 F, coughing, sore throat, congestion, headache, chills, fatigue or vomiting. But not everyone with the flu gets a fever, according to the N.C. DHHS.

The best way to prevent the flu is getting vaccinated, health officials said.