A Wellington health official is urging people not to panic after a woman died just five days after contracting the flu.
Mark McIlroy is urging people to get their flu shots after his wife Catherine, who wasn't vaccinated, passed away.
Capital and Coast DHB infectious diseases specialist Tim Blackmore says there's a lot of bad luck in this case.
"Influenza can affect people very badly with underlying conditions but this is very rare for a completely healthy person to be affected so badly."
However Tim Blackmore says it's important to remember it's a vaccine preventable disease and people should take the immunisation where possible.
"Unfortunately this is an incredibly rare event and dying on the road is always possibility but it doesn't stop people from driving."
Mr Blackmore says things could've turned out differently for Mrs McIlroy if she'd been vaccinated.
Photo: NZ Herald