A child in the central part of North Carolina died from the flu, the first pediatric death of the season, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
The death, which occurred last week, highlights the seriousness of the illness, said state Epidemiologist Dr. Zack Moore.
“Flu vaccination is the most effective protection against flu, and it’s still not too late to get a flu shot.”
DHHS did not release the child’s hometown, county or gender to protect the family’s privacy.
Nationwide, nine children have died because of the flu through Dec. 16.
In addition to the child, 11 adult flu-related deaths have been reported in North Carolina this season, which began Oct. 1.
To protect yourself against the flu you should:
▪ Get a flu shot. The vaccine is changed every year to include a mixture of strains of the virus that circulated in prior years. Anyone over 6 months should get a flu shot, except for those with documented severe reactions to prior vaccinations. The nasal spray should not be used this flu season.
▪ Wash your hands. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wetting your hands with clean water, turning off the tap and applying soap. Lather your hands and scrub for at least 20 seconds, then rinse them well and dry them on a clean towel or air dry.
▪ Try to limit the germ spread. Cover your coughs and sneezes. Don’t reuse tissues. Stay home when you’re sick.