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NC Department of Health & Human Services reports pediatric flu death in eastern NC

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RALEIGH, NC (WNCT) – The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reports that a child in eastern North Carolina has died from the flu.

It is the first pediatric flu death for the 2022-2023 season, officials said. A pediatric flu death was last reported in February 2020, health officials said Wednesday.

In a press release, NCDHHS officials said, “A child in the eastern part of the state recently died from complications associated with an influenza infection. To protect family privacy, the child’s hometown, county, age and gender are not disclosed.

“We extend our deepest condolences to this child’s family for this heartbreaking and tragic loss,” said state epidemiologist Dr. Zack Moore.

Health officials are reporting a rapid and early increase in flu cases in recent weeks after two years of relatively low flu activity since the COVID-19 pandemic. At least five flu-related adult deaths have already been reported in the state. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one pediatric flu death had been reported in other states as of November 2.

The CDC recommends flu shots every year for anyone six months and older. In addition to being the best way to prevent flu infection, vaccination can also lessen illness in people who catch the flu.

NCDHHS also launched a campaign to educate people about the health risks associated with seasonal flu, the benefits of annual vaccination, and to encourage annual flu vaccinations statewide. MySpot.nc.gov/flu has the latest resources, tips, answers to frequently asked questions, shareable materials, and a new public service announcement. Flu shots are available at hospitals, pharmacies, private doctor’s offices, some federally licensed health care centers, and local health departments. To find a flu vaccine near you, visit www.vaccines.gov/find-vaccines.

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