Stanly County Health Department reports first flu death

Published 4:30 pm Wednesday, November 9, 2022

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The Stanly County Health Department reported on Wednesday the first flu-related death of the 2022-23 flu (influenza) season. An adult resident of Stanly County died due to complications of influenza. To protect the privacy of the family, no additional information will be released from the Health Department.

“This is a reminder that flu can lead to serious complications and even death in some unfortunate instances,” Stanly County Health Director Dave Jenkins said. “With flu cases increasing and COVID-19 still circulating, it is important to get an annual vaccine. Talk with your healthcare provider if you have any concerns whether the vaccination is right for you.”

While flu cases and deaths were historically low during the 2020-21 and 2021-22 flu seasons, the number of flu deaths reported in North Carolina ranged from 186 to 391 during the five prior seasons. Currently, North Carolina, including Stanly County, is 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.

The CDC recommends flu vaccination every year for everyone 6 months and older.

The Health Department said vaccination is the best way to prevent infection with the flu. Vaccination can also make illness milder for those who do get the flu, making it especially important for those at higher risk of more serious outcomes, such as people over 65 years old, children younger than 5, pregnant women and those with certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Flu and COVID-19 vaccines can be administered at
the same visit. These vaccines are available at Stanly County Health Department, local pharmacies and healthcare provider offices.

The Health Department urges individuals to protect themselves and others by knowing the signs of respiratory illnesses like the flu and staying home when sick.

Common symptoms of respiratory illness including flu:

● fever

● cough

● sore throat

● runny nose/sneezing

● muscle or body aches

● headaches

● fatigue (tiredness)

● nausea or vomiting

● diarrhea

Here a few important steps to take to decrease the spread of respiratory illnesses:

● Wash your hands often with soap and water

● Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands

● Stay home when you are sick

● Avoid close contact with sick people

● Cover your coughs and sneezes

● Clean and disinfect surfaces

● Consider wearing a mask in public spaces

● Contact your healthcare provider or health department for information on vaccines against respiratory illnesses such as flu and COVID-19

For more information about

● Flu –

● RSV –

● COVID-19 –