North Carolina records 18 deaths this flu season

Officials from the North Carolina Division of Public Health have confirmed that there have been 18 total deaths linked to the flu in the state this season, with most of the deaths coming in individuals who were not vaccinated.

The flu vaccine is still available in the state and health officials have recommend that residents who haven't been vaccinated can still receive them, NBC Channel 17 reports.

A sign posted at the Durant Road Preschool in Raleigh, N.C., warned that there is a flu strain circulating that isn't covered by the flu vaccine.

"There are some strains out there, as they are every year, that are not covered but when we look at the whole picture it's a small portion of what's out there that's not covered by the vaccine," Dr. Zack Moore, the N.C. state epidemiologist said, according to NBC Channel 17. "We have a very good match to the flu shot this year. We've got three strains circulating and there have been a lot of all three strains; so the good news is that all three are covered."

There has been a spike in flu patients in the month of February according to WakeMed, with a rise from 295 emergency room flu patients in January to 363 already in February. Six of the 18 reported flu deaths have been in children.