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NC Records First Pediatric Flu Death Of Season

flu shot
North Carolina recorded its first pediatric flu death of the season in December.

North Carolina has recorded its first pediatric flu death of the 2019-20 flu season, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday.

The child in the western part of the state died from complications associated with influenza in December, NCDHHS said. For privacy, no further information about the child was released.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 27 pediatric flu deaths have been reported this season in all other states as of Jan. 4.

"We extend our deepest sympathies to this child's family," said State Epidemiologist Zack Moore in a statement. "These personal losses are also a reminder for all of us that flu can be a serious illness. We want to encourage people to protect themselves and others by getting their annual flu shot."

Twenty adult flu-associated deaths in North Carolina have been reported this season, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, with 14 of those being people 65 years or older. 

An average estimate of 37,875 people nationwide have died from the flu annually since 2010, theCDC reports, with children younger than 5, pregnant women, adults older than 65 and those with chronic medical conditions being more at risk.

This week, Atrium Health announced that it was restricting hospital access for visitors 12 years old and younger for its Charlotte area in-patient hospitals in response to the prevalance of flu cases in the region.

Jodie Valade has been a Digital News and Engagement Editor for WFAE since 2019. Since moving to Charlotte in 2015, she has worked as a digital content producer for NASCAR.com and a freelance writer for publications ranging from Charlotte magazine to The Athletic to The Washington Post and New York Times. Before that, Jodie was an award-winning sports features and enterprise reporter at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio. She also worked at The Dallas Morning News covering the Dallas Mavericks — where she became Mark Cuban's lifelong email pen pal — and at The Kansas City Star. She has a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University and a Master of Education from John Carroll University. She is originally from Rochester Hills, Michigan.