Health Team

NC reports first flu death of season

Posted October 13, 2016 5:09 p.m. EDT

— The state Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday reported North Carolina's first flu death for the 2016-17 flu season.

The victim, who was identified only as an adult in the eastern region of the state, died last week of complications from an influenza infection.

"We hope that, by people being aware of this unfortunate case, we will remind everyone that flu can be a serious disease. We encourage people to protect themselves and their loved ones by getting vaccinated," Dr. Zack Moore, acting state epidemiologist, said in a statement.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends yearly vaccination against the flu for everyone 6 months and older. According to studies cited by the CDC, there are several benefits from vaccination, including the following:

  • Protecting people who are at greater risk of getting seriously ill from flu, such as older adults, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions and young children
  • Making illness milder if you do get sick and reducing the risk of more serious outcomes, including hospitalizations and death
  • Protecting women during pregnancy and protecting their babies until they are old enough to get vaccinated themselves

Other precautions people can take to protect against the spread of flu and other viruses include staying home when sick until they have been fever-free for at least 24 hours, washing hands frequently, preferably with soap and water, and
covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then discarding the tissue promptly.