Local News

Child is first NC flu-related death of season

Posted October 9, 2014

— An elementary school student in the Triangle is the first person in North Carolina to die of complications from the flu during the 2014-2015 season, state health officials said Thursday.

The state Department of Health and Human Services said the child – whose name, gender, age and hometown were not released for privacy reason – had underlying medical conditions.

“We extend our thoughts and prayers to the family on their loss,” Dr. Robin Cummings, the state’s health director, said in a statement. “We hope that making people aware of this tragic case will encourage preventative measures and remind everyone that it is not too early to be vaccinated. We are very early in the flu season, and we expect to see flu activity increase in the coming weeks and months.”

Flu shots are encouraged, especially for populations most at-risk from serious illness, including young children, the elderly or those with chronic health conditions.

"Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death," Cummings said. "They not only help protect vaccinated individuals, but they also help protect the entire community by reducing and preventing the spread of infectious diseases."

Health officials also advise residents to stay home if they are sick or until 24 hours after a fever has subsided, vigorously and frequently wash hands using soap and cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue.

The flu season runs from October to May. Last season, 107 people in the state died from influenza.

Visit the state’s website for more information, including where to obtain a flu shot.


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  • USMC Vet Oct 9, 2014

    Prayers for the child's loved ones.

  • jmcdow2792 Oct 9, 2014

    View quoted thread

    At this moment, yes. In the future?

  • Claytonmomof2 Oct 9, 2014

    Our pediatrician will not vaccinate unless there's a high risk situation. I guess a vaccine shortage?

  • ziva Oct 9, 2014

    View quoted thread

    I agree!!!

  • HeelFanForLife2 Oct 9, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Yep....but it isn't.

  • wmarti Oct 9, 2014

    I would be willing to bet that he had been vaccinated, otherwise half the article would have been used to attack non vaccinators.

  • 12345_here Oct 9, 2014

    Underlying health concerns? Sorry, but the state health department is coming up a bit short with their explanations. The flu is the flu, and some people will die Without proper education people cannot make the decisions to get or not get the flue, and this lack of transparency from the health department is more dangerous than the flu itself.

  • Ishitonthewralcorncobdesk Oct 9, 2014

    View quoted thread

    I'll say it again. This should be more concerning to people here than ebola.

  • raphael27520 Oct 9, 2014

    This is why you get the flu shot vaccine, it would be interesting to know if this child had .
    On Ebola from below comment, Ebola has no vaccine/cure and has a 70+ % death rate.
    The flu has a less than 1% death rate usually in children or elderly with other medical conditions, like this child.

  • Ishitonthewralcorncobdesk Oct 9, 2014

    This should be more concerning to people here than ebola.