Just How Bad Was Flu Season This Year? A Look at the Numbers

Both here in western North Carolina and around the nation, the 2017-18 flu season rose to the level of an official epidemic. As the number of flu cases continued to rise throughout the winter, many schools saw unprecedented flu-related absences and, most unfortunately, our state experienced a record number of flu-related deaths.

This year’s record-setting flu season – which officially continues through May – is a stark reminder to always get the flu vaccine, practice proper hand hygiene, stay at home when you’re sick and seek care immediately if you have flu-like symptoms.

The numbers below illustrate just how bad this flu season was, as we compare the total number of flu cases to the 2016-17 flu season. These numbers represent total positive flu tests at Mission Health facilities in WNC, specific to the time frames denoted.

The lessons from this flu season’s epidemic are nothing new. To avoid the flu, the best thing you can do is to get the flu shot. It’s also imperative to seek the appropriate medical care if you become ill with flu symptoms. Both of these steps could be life-saving.

As this year has shown us, the flu is a serious illness that is not to be taken lightly.


Information provided by David Buhner, Public Health Epidemiologist with Mission Health’s Infection Prevention Program.

Visit mission-health.org/flu [1] to learn more about flu treatment and prevention.