The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services announced the state’s first three adult deaths linked to infection with seasonal influenza Tuesday. The patients resided in eastern North Carolina, the Triad region, and the Charlotte area. According to the report, all three patients were middle-aged adults with medical conditions, increasing their risk for complications. They passed away over the past two weeks after testing positive for Influenza-A, known as one of the main types of flu responsible for annual seasonal flu epidemics.
“We extend our deepest sympathy to all of the families on their loss,” Acting State Health Director Robin Cummings, M.D. said in a press release. “We hope that these tragic cases will help alert other people to the risks associated with contracting flu.”
According to public health officials, the number of cases in North Carolina has been relatively low thus far this season, but is beginning to trend upward. Typically, flu season peaks during the months of January and February. Complications from the flu can be particularly serious for high risk groups including infants under 2, pregnant women and people with chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease or immune system problems.