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First Flu-Related Deaths Reported In N.C., Officials Urging Citizens To Take Precautions

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday (November 1) announced the first two reported flu-related deaths of the 2023-2024 flu season. Two adults in the western part of the state died due to complications of influenza during the third and fourth weeks of October. One person had tested positive for both influenza and COVID-19. To protect the privacy of both families, additional information will not be released.

Influenza, COVID-19 and the respiratory virus RSV are all circulating now and are expected to increase over the coming months. Vaccinations are the best way to prevent serious illness, hospitalization, and death from these infections. Officials say vaccinations are especially important for those at higher risk of severe viral respiratory disease, including people 65 years and older, children younger than 5, pregnant women, those with a weakened immune system and those with certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you get a seasonal flu vaccine. RSV vaccinations are also available to protect older adults and for pregnant women during weeks 32 through 36 of pregnancy to protect infants. Parents should talk with their health care provider about other options to protect infants from severe RSV disease. Vaccinations are available at pharmacies, private medical offices, some federally qualified health care centers and local health departments. To find flu or vaccines near you, visit

In addition to vaccines, precautions including regular hand washing, disinfecting surfaces, and staying home when sick are recommended by health officials. A respiratory virus surveillance summary that includes information on COVID-19, RSV and flu-related activity is updated weekly at Catawba County officials say Flu, COVID-19 and RSV vaccines are widely available in the community. Individuals who want to be vaccinated can check with their physician or local pharmacies to find out which vaccines they should get and to locate where to get them.

For people who wish to obtain a vaccination at Catawba County Public Health, appointments must be made by calling (828) 695-5881 or using the online request form on Public Health’s web site, which can be found by going to

[Information for this story courtesy of and Catawba County Public Health]