NC DHHS Reports First Flu Death of the Season
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is reporting the state's first death from flu for the 2015-2016 influenza season. An adult in the western region of the state died last week of complications from an influenza infection. (To protect the family's privacy, the person's hometown, county, age and gender are not being released.)
"We extend our deepest sympathies to the family," said Acting State Health Director Dr. Megan Davies. "We hope that by making people aware of this unfortunate case we will remind everyone that flu can be a serious disease and encourage people to protect themselves and their loved ones by getting vaccinated."
The CDC recommends yearly vaccination against the flu for everyone 6 months and older. "It's not too early to get the flu vaccine. Getting your shot now will protect you through the entire season, so it's important not to wait." said Dr. Davies.
According to studies cited by the CDC there are several benefits from vaccination, including the following:
- Protecting people who are at greater risk of getting seriously ill from flu, like older adults, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions (including obesity) and young children.
- Making illness milder if you do get sick and reducing the risk of more serious outcomes, like hospitalizations and deaths.
- Protecting women during pregnancy and protecting their babies until they are old enough to get vaccinated themselves.
Other precautions you can take to protect against the spread of flu and other viruses include:
- Staying home when you are sick until you have been fever free for at least 24 hours;
- Washing your hands frequently, preferably with soap and water; and
- Covering your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then discarding the tissue promptly.
For more information on flu and to find out where you can get a flu vaccination in your community, visit www.flu.nc.gov.