North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Service officials announced Thursday the first reported flu-related deaths 2020-21 influenza season..
It occurred in the first week of October, killing adults over the age of 65 in central the state.
To protect the privacy of the family, the person’s birthplace, county, age and gender are not disclosed.
“This is a sad memory that reminds us that influenza is a serious illness that can lead to complications and even death,” said state epidemiologist Dr. Zack Moore, MD. “When the flu season begins during the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be more important than ever for people to get the flu vaccine this year.”
Between 2019-20 influenza seasonIn North Carolina, 186 flu deaths were reported, out of 208 deaths during the 2018-19 flu season. Of the 186 deaths, 105 were over 65 and 5 were under 18.
Influenza vaccines are the best way to prevent influenza and its complications. It reduces your chances of getting sick. Also, if you get the flu, it can be milder than if you were not vaccinated. Each year, scientists and health professionals develop seasonal flu shots to protect against the three or four flu strains that research suggests are most common in the next season. Vaccines work by triggering the body to produce protective antibodies that help prevent the flu.
The· CDC recommends influenza vaccination Every year for everyone over 6 months. vaccination It’s the best way to prevent the spread of the flu. It is especially important for people over the age of 65, children under the age of 5, pregnant women, people with certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, who are at high risk for more serious consequences. Some of these same groups are also at high risk of complications from COVID-19.
Influenza vaccination is available in hospitals, pharmacies, private clinics, some federal-qualified medical centers, and the community health department. To find your local flu vaccine, visit the following website: Vaccine finder.org / find-vaccine..
In North Carolina, influenza infection is most common from late fall to early spring, with activity usually peaking in January or February. In addition to influenza vaccination, the following precautions should be taken to prevent the spread of influenza, COVID-19, and other viruses.
- Continue Practice 3W — You can delay the spread of COVID-19 and the flu by wearing a face that covers your nose and mouth, waiting 6 feet away, and washing your hands.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with tissue and immediately discard the tissue
- Except for staying at home when you are sick and getting medical attention and testing, take steps to prevent the following infections from spreading to others in your home:
- If possible, stay in a separate room from other household members
- Use a different bathroom if possible
- Avoid contact with family and pets
- Do not share personal household items such as cups, towels and utensils
- Wear a mask around other people if possible
People who feel sick should call in advance before going to the clinic, community health department, or emergency care to avoid exposing others. Talk to your doctor about getting a flu or COVID-19 test, as the symptoms of flu are similar to those of COVID-19. The symptoms of the flu are:
- Cough and / or sore throat
- Runny nose or stuffy nose
- Headache and / or body pain
- Nausea, vomiting and / or diarrhea (most common in children)
If you think you have the flu, you should immediately contact your doctor to see if you need treatment with prescription antivirals. Early treatment with antiviral drugs helps prevent the flu infection from becoming more serious. Treatment with prescription antivirals is especially important for inpatients, patients with severe influenza, and people at high risk of serious influenza complications based on age and health.
DPH monitoring for the 2020-21 influenza season begins on September 27 and continues through late May. A combination of COVID-19 and influenza surveillance summaries containing information on influenza-related deaths and activities will be posted every Thursday. flu.nc.gov..