Onslow County sees first child flu death of the season

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Onslow County this morning is reporting its first child death for this flu season.

This is the second pediatric flu death in the state so far, and both have been here in Eastern Carolina. The other death was reported on November 2nd and state health officials only said it happened in the eastern part of North Carolina.

The child’s age or sex was not disclosed by Onslow County officials.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to the family during this time as they mourn a tragic loss,” said Kristen Richmond-Hoover, Onslow County health director.

That death brings to 60 the number of people who have died in North Carolina so far this season from the flu.

Kimberly Collins, who is a nurse with the Onslow County Health Department, said some people are now worried.

“We’re actually seeing things a little heavier and earlier this year,” Collins said. “RSV is a big concern, flu A, and other flu is concerning right now.”

Onslow County says they have seen more flu cases as we transition into the winter months.

With the death happening just two weeks before Christmas, Collins is urging people to get ahead of the disease.

“Going into the holiday season you want to make sure that you get your vaccines as soon as possible because you want to give them time to start working in your body before you’re exposed to large groups of people,” Collins said.

Flu shots are available at the Onslow County Health Department. You can call them at 910-347-2154 to make an appointment.