North Carolina releases first flu report of the reason; no deaths reported

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NC health officials: Zero flu deaths reported (WTVD)

A report released Thursday by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services showed no flu deaths were reported in the state during the first week of October.

It was the first flu report issued this season, and health officials said it reflects data that they usually see at the beginning of flu season.

However, they said they are seeing flu cases out there.

"The flu is out there so it's time to get your flu shot," said Department of Health and Human Services Secretary, Mandy Cohen. "It's important that it'll protect you, it'll protect your family from getting the severe symptoms of the flu, and we want to make sure everyone is protected. Wash your hands."

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In 2016, 219 flu deaths were reported in North Carolina during the flu season. Because of that, health officials are urging you get vaccinated early.

"It does take a couple weeks to get fully protected," said State Epidemiologist, Zack Moore. "So, this is the perfect time before we get a lot of flu out there to make sure that you're protected or that your family is protected."

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State employees, like Cohen, took that advice and got their flu shots at the Dorothea Dix campus in Raleigh.

"We don't know what's going to happen but it's one of those things where it's better to be prepared and then that way you don't have to worry about it," said state employee Richard Davis.

The state will release a report every Thursday until the end of flu season; each report can be viewed online.
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healthfluflu seasonflu preventionvaccinesRaleigh
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