The North Carolina Department of Health and Humanitarian Services announced the state’s first flu-related death this season.
The person was over 65 years old and lives in central North Carolina, officials said. To protect the privacy of the family, the person’s hometown, county, age and gender will not be released.
Follow here the flu-related deaths in the 2020-21 season. Updated numbers are reported every Thursday.
The public health department has been monitoring flu cases since September 27 and will continue to do so until May. In North Carolina, flu infections are most common from late fall to early spring, usually peaking in January or February. It is important to get the flu by the end of October, doctors say.
Anyone over the age of 6 months is strongly encouraged to get the flu, especially during the COVID-1
“This is a sad reminder that the flu can be a serious illness and in some cases can lead to complications and even death,” said state epidemiologist Zack Moore, MD. “As the flu season begins during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever for people to get the flu vaccine this year.”
During the 2019-20 flu season, 186 flu deaths were reported in North Carolina, compared to 208 deaths during the 2018-19 flu season. Of those 186 deaths, 105 were people aged 65 and over, and five were under the age of 18.