RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Four North Carolinians have already died of the flu this season.
The state says two people died last week due to the virus. They haven't been identified, but officials say all four people were over the age of 65.
Health officials say the best protection available is to be vaccinated, but there are a few other things that could keep you healthy this flu season, including washing your hands, covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze and staying home if you or your kids are sick.
North Carolina has confirmed the state's first flu-related death as flu season picks up.
The News & Observer in Raleigh reported Thursday that the illness claimed the life of an adult in the central part of the state.
Health officials did not name the person or offer other identifying details to protect the person's privacy. They said the person died this week.
State Epidemiologist Zack Moore said in a statement that people should get a flu shot.
Flu season starts Oct. 1 and runs through May. Nearly 400 people died in North Carolina during the last flu season.
Flu deaths can happen any time of the year. But they increase when temperatures drop and the virus becomes more active.
(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)