The infant died last week from complications associated with influenza infection, the Halifax County Public Health System said in a statement.
To protect the family’s privacy, no further information about the child will be released, the health department said.
"We extend our deepest sympathies to this child’s family,” said Anne Thomas, interim Halifax County health director. “It is important for people to understand that flu is a very common virus that can cause serious and deadly infections in some people.”
This flu season, as of February 18,, 40 adult flu-associated deaths have been reported in North Carolina, with 64 percent of those being people older than 65.
Additionally, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 34 pediatric flu deaths had been reported from other states.
The CDC estimates that 3,000 to 49,000 people die from flu infections nationwide each year.
Certain groups are at higher risk for serious illness from flu, including those with underlying heart or lung disease, people older than 65 and children younger than 5.
Up to half of children who die from flu have no known medical condition that would have put them at higher risk.
While children less than 6 months old cannot receive an influenza vaccination, there are other ways to protect them.
Expectant mothers can receive influenza vaccinations during pregnancy to protect themselves and to pass on protection to the unborn child.
Other precautions include:
• Staying home when you are sick until you have been fever-free for at least 24 hours
• Washing your hands frequently, preferably with soap and water
• Covering your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then discarding the tissue promptly
If you think you might have the flu, contact your doctor right away to see if you need treatment with an antiviral drug. Early treatment with an antiviral drug can help prevent flu infections from
becoming more serious.
“Flu vaccination is the most effective protection against flu,” said Thomas. “There is still time to protect yourself and those close to you as the flu is expected to be circulating for the next
Flu vaccinations are still available at Halifax County Health Department for those age 6 months and older.
Vaccinations are offered on a walk-in basis from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday without an appointment.
For more information on flu, contact Frances Vick at HCHD at 252-583-5021 x 6249 or visit www.flu.nc.gov.