Published: Sat, January 11, 2020
Medical | By Mark Scott

First flu-related death reported in Lexington

First flu-related death reported in Lexington

Officials said flu-like activity was deemed as high this week with 280 lab-confirmed cases of the flu.

In the 2017-18 flu season, the health unit reported four flu-related deaths between September 1, 2017 and January 6, 2018.

Health Department Spokesman Kevin Hall noted the flu-related death occurred in a person over 50 who had underlying health conditions.

Almost 10 million Americans have been sickened by the flu virus so far this winter, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tulsa Health Department Epidemiology Supervisor Jessica Rice says we're just now reaching peak season, but flu cases can continue into April or May in the Sooner State. During the week ending January 4, 33 states and the District of Columbia, New York City, Puerto Rico reported "high" flu activity.

Health officials recommend that everyone six months of age and older get vaccinated.

"Even though they might get the flu, they might not get as sick as they would without a vaccine", he said. Twelve people have died, four of those in Tulsa County. The deceased individual had not received the flu shot, said Kevin Hall, the health department's communications officer.

To find a location nearby, use the Flu Vaccine Finder at flu.nc.gov.

The two are the third and fourth cases of flu deaths in the county.

The flu shot is available at the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department on Newtown Pike from 9 a.m.to 3 p.m.

St. Anthony Summit Medical Center communications director Brent Boyer said the hospital already has initiated precautionary measures to prevent the spread of flu. "People come in and they say, "I think I have a sinus infection", and it turns out it's influenza B".

The flu season will end on May 16. Children younger than 5 and those with long term health problems like asthma and diabetes are at high risk of flu-related complications.

Charles Duncan covers what's happening right now across North and SC, from breaking news to fun or interesting stories from across the region.

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