Osceola County child first pediatric death this flu season

Detroit Free Press


OSCEOLA COUNTY — The first pediatric influenza death in Michigan for the 2018-19 season has been confirmed by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

The child who died was from Osceola County and was infected with influenza A.

Nationally, six children have died from the flu this season.

MDHHS says Michigan has only experience localized flu activity so far, but officials recommend everyone who is older than 6 months old should get a seasonal flu vaccine.

“Flu vaccine is the best way to prevent against getting the flu and can also reduce the severity of flu illness,” a release said.

Vaccine is especially important for persons at increased risk for complications from flu, including children, adults aged 65 years and older, persons of any age with underlying medical conditions, and pregnant women, according to the release. Children less than 6 months of age are too young to be vaccinated and need to be protected by vaccination of their close contacts, including parents, siblings, grandparents, child care workers and healthcare personnel.

The 2017-18 flu season was one of the deadliest since the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. More than 79,000 people died as a result of the flu during the last flu season. 185 of those were children. In Michigan, two children died last year because of the flu-related complications.

During the last flu season, only 39.5 percent of Michigan residents were vaccinated against flu, which is below the national rate of 41.7 percent.


Posted by Brandon Fountain

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