A person in Western North Carolina is the state's first flu-related death of the 2022-23 flu season, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday.
NCDHHS said the person is an adult and died of complications of the flu during the third week of October. To protect the privacy of the family, the person's hometown, county, age and gender will not be released, DHHS said in a news release.
"This is a sad reminder that flu can be a serious illness and can lead to complications and even death in some cases," said State Epidemiologist Zack Moore, M.D., MPH. "With flu cases increasing and COVID-19 still with us, it is tremendously important for people to get a flu vaccine this year."
According to NCDHHS, North Carolina is currently seeing an increase in illnesses caused by respiratory viruses other than COVID-19, including influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), that is greater than at any time since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020. Health officials said influenza cases and deaths were historically low during the 2020-21 and 2021-22 influenza seasons, the number of influenza deaths reported in North Carolina ranged from 186 to 391 during the five prior seasons.