The health department reported the latest child death on Thursday morning.
Seventeen more flu deaths have been reported in North Carolina this season.
The flu season has taken its toll across the nation and in Rhea County as well, forcing the closure of schools last week and for the health department to begin offering flu vaccines in an attempt to control the spread of the disease.More news: Groves keeps title belt with Eubank Jr win
This year's flu vaccines reduce the chance of getting the flu by about a third, but are just about 25 percent effective against the strain causing the most misery, according to the CDC.
"We're still seeing those high numbers, and, like I said, this is the ninth straight week - I don't think I've ever seen nine straight weeks of high flu numbers". Officials said, "We continue to send our deepest condolences to the families who have lost a loved one due to influenza".
This flu season is particularly severe, with almost 62,000 cases statewide and more than 8,600 confirmed cases just in Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, and York counties.
Friday, the local health department launched "Free Flu Fridays".More news: Thousands Attend Vigil for Victims of Florida High School Massacre
The increase is Flu B cases was also showing up in data released by area hospitals.
Madison Catlett, 9, gets a flu shot from licensed practical nurse Carolyn Nelson at Southwest Medical's Tenaya Healthcare Center in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018.
The department was "surprised" at the number of people that have not received the vaccination, Bradley said. Many who have died have gotten secondary infections, when they thought they were getting better from the flu, but a second infection came on its heels and attacked their already weakened body.
Other precautions include washing your hands frequently, covering your coughs and sneezes, avoiding sick people and staying home if you're not feeling well. The strains that are circulation have shifted, so you could get a different strain and end up sick twice in one season.More news: Winn-Dixie owner preparing for bankruptcy, up to 200 stores could close
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