North Carolina reports first flu-related death of the season

Flu vaccine (Photo: DoD)

RALEIGH, NC (WWAY) — Officials with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced on Tuesday the first reported flu-related death of the 2021–22 flu season.

An adult in the western part of the state died due to complications of influenza during the second week of December. The person tested positive for influenza and negative for COVID-19.

“This is a sad reminder that flu can be a serious illness and can lead to complications and even death in some cases,” State Epidemiologist Zack Moore, M.D., MPH said. “With flu cases increasing and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever for people to get a flu vaccine this year, as well as a COVID-19 vaccination or booster if they have not already done so.”

Currently, North Carolina is seeing more influenza activity than at any time since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020.

“Unfortunately, COVID-19 cases are on the rise in the midst of the flu season, creating even more demand of our state’s hospital beds,” NCDHHS Chief Deputy Secretary for Health Kody H. Kinsley said. “It is important to get a COVID-19 vaccine and flu shot as soon as possible, and get your booster when you become eligible, to protect yourself and your family and to preserve hospital bed capacity for emergencies.”

The CDC recommends flu vaccination every year for everyone 6 months and older.

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 vaccinefinder.org/find-vaccines.

Categories: NC, News