State health officials report first flu death of season

State health officials have announced the first flu-related death of the 2022-23 flu season.
State health officials have announced the first flu-related death of the 2022-23 flu season.(CDC)
Published: Oct. 26, 2022 at 4:12 PM EDT
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) - State health officials have announced the first flu-related death of the 2022-23 flu season.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services says an adult in the western part of the state died due to the flu during the third week of October.

WITN is told that in order to protect the privacy of the family, the person’s hometown and county, their age and gender will not be released.

“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 Dr. Zack Moore said. “With flu cases increasing and COVID-19 still with us, it is tremendously important for people to get a flu vaccine this year.”

The NCDHHS says that while influenza cases and deaths were historically low during the last two flu seasons, the number of flu deaths reported in the state ranged from 186 to 391 during the five seasons prior to those.

“Currently, North Carolina is seeing an increase in illnesses caused by respiratory viruses other than COVID-19, including influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), that is greater than at any time since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020,” the NCDHHS says.

Health officials are urging flu vaccinations. 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. Find a flu vaccine near you here.

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