NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – The first pediatric death in the state due to the flu has been reported.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health confirmed that a child between the ages of 0 to 9 from New Haven County died in December.
“The flu continues to circulate and is particularly dangerous to the very youngest and the oldest people in your life,” said DPH Commissioner Manisha Juthani, MD. “The holidays are just around the corner so I strongly recommend that persons 6 months of age and older get a flu shot to help protect themselves and their family members.”
No other information about the patient has been released at this time.
“It’s always sad when a child dies for any reason, and it’s particularly sad if a child dies from a preventable infection like influenza,” said Dr. Juan Salazar, Connecticut Children’s.
Dr. Juan Salazar says Connecticut Children’s has many kids currently hospitalized with the flu.
“Influenza vaccination is very effective and sadly for us in the pediatric age group, not everyone gets the flu vaccine,” Dr. Salazar said.
According to DPH, there are currently more than 22,000 flu cases in the state with approximately 531 hospitalizations and 18 deaths.
The flu season takes place between October and May, but the highest levels are typically seen between December and March.
Lisa almost lost her son Jake to the flu when he was 12. He was put into a medically induced coma on life support.
Jake is now in college, but has scarring on his lungs and has to do mechanical vest therapy regularly to loosen compression in his chest.
“If you’re a mom or dad out there listening to this, please call your pediatrician to get the flu shot,” Dr. Salazar said. “There’s even the possibility of dying from influence even if the child is healthy.”
Symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, chills, congestion and fatigue.
According to the CDC, approximately 80% of pediatric deaths are unvaccinated.
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