N.C. health officials announce first flu-related death of season

N.C. health officials announce first flu-related death of season

RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - North Carolina health officials on Thursday announced the first reported flu-related death of the 2019-2020 flu season.

The individual lived in the central part of the state and passed away in the first week of October, officials said. No other details were released.

“We are very saddened by this death and send condolences to the loved ones of this person,” said State Epidemiologist Zack Moore. “Flu is a serious illness and in some cases can lead to complications and even result in death, which is why we strongly encourage people to get vaccinated every year.”

Health officials said 208 people died during last year’s flu season. Of those 208 deaths, 133 were people age 65 and older and five were under the age of 18.

In North Carolina, flu infections are most common from late fall to early spring with activity usually peaking in January or February. The following precautions should be taken to protect against the spread of flu and other viruses:

  • Stay home when sick until fever-free for at least 24 hours
  • Wash hands frequently, preferably with soap and water
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then discard the tissue promptly

Flu vaccinations are available at hospitals, pharmacies, private medical offices, some federally qualified health care centers and local health departments. To find a flu vaccine near you, visit flu.nc.gov.

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