Some sobering news about the flu virus: the number of flu deaths increased sharply in North Carolina - 21 in just the past week.

Still, nationwide, doctors say it's too soon to know if we've peaked. One of the latest deaths was a 12-year-old boy from Florida, and his parents say it seemingly came out of nowhere.

Their warning to you tonight: the flu can take down anyone. children seem to be the most at risk. More than 30 children have died from the flu this season, including a 6-year-old from Cary.

Katherine Michael lives in High Point, and can't forget when her only son Eli got the flu in late October.

“It was very progressive. He was fine in the morning, and then all of a sudden, by the evening he had the flu, didn't want to move,” she explained.

He was scheduled to get a flu shot - but the virus hit him early.

“We had set it all up for his 14 month checkup and he ended up with the flu,” she said.

The symptoms knocked him out.

“He lasted like that for about five days, before he started moving around again. I couldn't get him to eat anything, biggest thing was the doctor kept telling us to push fluids,” Michael said.

She says almost nothing has scared her more.

“It’s the most scary thing as a mom,” she said, “To see your child who loves to run around and play, loves to yell at the top of his lungs because he likes to hear his own voice…to absolutely not do anything, it's just terrifying.”

That was 3 months ago.

But, just this week, Eli got sick again. Fearing it was another round of the flu, Katherine took him to the doctor. It turned out to be a respiratory infection - but she's not letting her guard down, and now she has a message for all parents.

“For it to take him down like that…just know that can happen to anybody,” she said, “It will take you down.”

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