Child killed by flu

RALEIGH The department says it's to protect the family's privacy.

Department of Health investigators say the 6-year-old was not vaccinated for the flu and is the first child in the 2008-2009 flu season to die of the illness.

"We are deeply saddened to hear of this loss," said State Health Director Leah Devlin in a news release sent to the media. "It is a devastating reminder that flu can be a serious and even deadly illness. We all need to do what we can to prevent the spread of flu in this state, and vaccination is the best way to prevent the flu."

Devlin said it's not too late to get flu shots for this year and he reminded people if they get sick to stay home so as not to spread colds and or the flu around. He said the best way to protect yourself is to wash your hands often.

Health officials say they've noticed an increase in reported flu cases over the past few weeks, but so far it's been an average year for infections.

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