JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — A child in Onslow County has died as a result of the flu, the Onslow County Health Department announced Friday.

It’s the county’s first confirmed pediatric flu death of the 2022-23 flu season.

The health department said the child’s age and gender will not be released to protect the family’s privacy.

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

As of Dec. 9, there had been 60 flu-related deaths in North Carolina, including one resulting from pediatric flu.

Health officials said they’re seeing more cases of respiratory illnesses such as influenza, COVID-19 and RSV. They said groups such as young children and older adults are particularly vulnerable to infection.

“Prevent illness by washing your hands often, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, stay home when you are sick or have flu-like symptoms to avoid exposing others, and ensure you are up to date on all available vaccinations,” the Onslow County Health Department said in a press release.

Flu shots are available at the Onslow County Health Department, located at 612 College St. in Jacksonville. COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are available as well. Call 910-347-2154 to make an appointment for adults and children 6 months and older. The health department is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., with a special after-hours flu clinic on Dec. 12 from 4 – 7 p.m.