"We offer our deepest sympathies to the individual's loved ones", he added.
Maps from the Florida Department of Health show widespread activity that has spiked in the past four weeks.
North Carolina is on the cusp of peak flu season, which normally hits highest numbers in February and March.
Flu is a serious illness that sickens millions of people and causes hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and thousands of deaths in the USA each year.
Dr. James Watt, chief of the state's division of communicable disease control, said flu season began about a month earlier than usual and it's too soon to know if it will peak sooner or get worse. The CDC also stressed "Estimates of the flu vaccine's effectiveness against circulating flu viruses in the United States will be available later in the season".
While Watt said the public health department can not predict if those numbers will continue to increase or level off, he noted that the number of deaths is higher than in previous flu seasons at this point in time.
The state Department of Health reports there have been 7,978 cases of flu reported so far this season, with 2,453 reported the last week of December. Children are what we often refer to as "super spreaders", meaning that they share germs more readily than others. He said it's only cold weather that can be connected to more illnesses.
Is the flu vaccine the best way to protect children?
"It is so important that all people in the borough who are vulnerable to the effects of flu take up the vaccine over winter".
Experts say it is not too late to get a flu shot.
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Doctor's visits for flu and flu-like illness continue to rise.
Annual influenza vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 months of age or older.
This year, influenza activity started increasing throughout the state as early as October 2017 with 27 recorded deaths compared with three in October 2016. "Getting the flu shot is still the best way to protect yourself and others from flu".
The flu can be much more serious, particularly for the very young, those of us who are older, and those with compromised immune systems.
"Each year these viruses can undergo changes that impacts how well these vaccinations work", said Chavez.
"Someone with influenza can spread the disease when they cough, sneeze, or talk, which creates influenza droplets that can land in the mouth or nose of someone nearby", Christ said. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
Influenza is a virus that infects the nose, throat and lungs. Antivirals can be prescribed and could be life-saving for more severe cases.
Can't you can't get the flu from the flu vaccine?
A toddler receiving the 2015/2016 seasonal influenza (flu) vaccine. If a child is vaccinated but still gets the flu, he or she will likely have a milder version of the disease. While the quadrivalent vaccine is one of several vaccines available, health officials do not give preference for one type over another.