NORTH CAROLINA (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — The NC Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday the first two reported flu-related deaths of the 2023-24 flu season.

Two adults in the western part of the state died due to complications of influenza during the third and fourth weeks of October, health officials said.

“One person had tested positive for both influenza and COVID-19. To protect the privacy of both families, additional information will not be released,” the NCDHHS explained.

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“As flu season ramps up and COVID-19 is still circulating, it is very important for people to get their annual vaccines, practice good hand hygiene, and stay home when sick,” State Epidemiologist Zack Moore, M.D., MPH said in a written statement on Wednesday.

Influenza, COVID-19, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are all circulating now and are expected to increase over the coming months.

“Vaccinations are the best way to prevent serious illness, hospitalization, and death from these infections. Vaccinations are especially important for those at higher risk of severe viral respiratory disease, including people 65 years and older, children younger than 5, pregnant women, those with a weakened immune system, and those with certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity,” the NCDHHS said.