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North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services reports pediatric flu death

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

This is the first pediatric flu death for the 2022-23 season, officials said. Health officials said Wednesday that one pediatric flu death was last reported in February 2020.

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 have reported 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 was reported Wednesday in other states.

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 encouragement for 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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