The NC Department of Health and Human Services has reported the first flu-related death in the state.
The man was 65 years old and lives in central North Carolina, officials said. To protect family privacy, a person’s hometown, county, age and gender will not be exempt.
Track flu-related deaths in the 2020-21 season here. Updated numbers are reported every Thursday.
The Division of Public Health has been searching for flu cases since September 27 and will continue until May. In North Carolina, late to spring flu infections usually occur in January or February. Doctors say it is important to get the flu by the end of October.
Anyone over the age of 6 months is encouraged to get the flu shot, especially during the COVID-19 epidemic. Flu shots are especially important for people over the age of 65, children under the age of 5, pregnant women and people with certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
“This is a sad reminder that the flu can be a serious illness and in some cases can lead to complications and even death,” said Zack Moore, MPH’s state epidemiologist. “With the onset of the flu season during the Covid-1p epidemic, it is more important than ever before people get the flu vaccine this year.”
During the 2019-20 flu season, 186 flu deaths were reported in North Carolina, down from 208 deaths in the 2018-19 flu season. Of these 186 deaths, 105 were people aged 65 and over and five were under 18.