RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A child in central North Carolina is among the latest deaths attributed to the flu in the state, officials say.
In a statement released Thursday, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said that 11 adult flu-associated deaths have also been reported in across the state this season.
So far across the United States, nine children have died from the flu, according to the news release.
The North Carolina child died last week "from complications associated with influenza infection," the statement said. The child's hometown, gender or county are not being released by officials "to protect the family's privacy," officials said.
"We extend our deepest sympathies to the child's family," North Carolina Epidemiologist Dr. Zack Moore said in a statement. "If anything positive comes from this tragic loss, we hope it will be that people understand that flu is a serious illness. Flu vaccination is the most effective protection against flu, and it's still not too late to get a flu shot."
Other precautions people can take to protect against the spread of flu and other viruses include:
- Staying home when sick until fever-free for at least 24 hours
- Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then discarding the tissue promptly
- Washing hands frequently, preferably with soap and water