North Carolina Reports First Flu Related Child Death - myfoxcarolinas.com

North Carolina Reports First Flu Related Child Death

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North Carolina has reported its first flu related child death for the 2013-2014 season. An infant in the eastern region died Monday due to complications associated with influenza. The infant was too young to get a flu shot.

The DHHS encourages everyone to take the necessary precautions.

"Losing a child is one of the greatest challenges a person will ever face and our hearts go out to the child's family," said State Health Director Robin Gary Cummings. "We hope that if there is any positive to come out of this tragedy it will be that our residents will understand how serious the flu can be and take precautions, including getting a flu vaccination."

DHHS officials reported 21 deaths associated with seasonal influenza last week. Of those 21 deaths, 19 were young and middle-aged adults, most of whom had underlying medical conditions. Only two deaths have been reported in persons over 65.

Flu activity has been spreading throughout North Carolina since mid-December. With the peak of flu season occurring during January and February, high levels of flu activity are expected to continue. Flu vaccine is widely available and protects against the various strains circulating this year, including H1N1, the most common flu strain so far this year.

In addition to the flu vaccination, public health experts recommend taking additional precautions against illness, including washing your hands often with soap and water, and staying away from others who may have the flu.

For more information on flu prevention and treatment, in addition to where you can get a flu shot, visit www.flu.nc.gov.

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