Health officials in Denton and Dallas counties have reported more flu-related deaths this season, bringing the total in North Texas to 82.

Friday, Dallas County reported six more deaths and Denton County two. In Dallas County, the age range of the latest patients who died were 48 to 98. Denton County didn't list ages.

- Dallas: 49

- Tarrant: 21

- Collin: 7

- Denton: 5

“We believe the current flu vaccine is critically important for preventing both Flu A and the now-growing number of Flu B cases,” said Dr. Matt Richardson, director of public health for Denton County, in a statement. “We are hopeful the number of positive flu cases will begin falling soon, but want to reiterate that simple everyday preventive actions help stop the transmission of the flu.”

The country is in the coast-to-coast grips of a severe flu season, on track to be as bad as the outbreak that caused an estimated 56,000 deaths in 2014-2015, federal health officials said Friday.

The flu remains widespread in 49 states, and reports of flu-like illnesses continued to rise through the third week of January, according to an update released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“It has been a tough flu season,” and may be only half over, said Dan Jernigan, director of the CDC’s influenza division.

While the CDC gets reports of flu deaths among children — up to 37 now — the biggest flu impact has been on people over age 65, followed by those ages 50-64, Jernigan said.