The NC Department of Health and Human Services reported the first state-associated flu-related deaths at the time.
The man is over the age of 65 and lives in central North Carolina, officials said. To protect the privacy of the family, the person, county, age and gender of the person will not be released.
Keep track of flu-related deaths throughout the 2020-21 season here. Updated numbers are reported every Thursday.
The Division of Public Health monitors flu cases from September 27 and will continue until May. In North Carolina, influenza infections are most common from late fall to early spring with cases typically rising in January or February. It is important to get the flu shot by the end of October, doctors say.
Anyone over 6 months of age is strongly encouraged to get a flu shot, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Flu shot is especially important for people over 65 years of age, children younger than 5, pregnant women and those with certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease and overweight.
“It is a sad reminder that the flu can be a serious illness and can lead to complications and even death in some cases,” said State Epidemiologist Zack Moore, MD, MPH. “During the flu season that begins during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever for people to get the flu vaccine this year.”
During the 2019-20 flu season, 186 flu deaths were reported in North Carolina, down from 208 flu-related deaths in 2018-19. Of those 186 deaths, 105 were people aged 65 and older and five were under the age of 18.