Published: Sun, December 23, 2018
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

First flu death confirmed in MI is a child

First flu death confirmed in MI is a child

The state of Arkansas has experienced its first pediatric flu-related death of the season, health officials confirmed this week.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced the death of a child from Osceola County who had with influenza A/H1N1.

Flu is a contagious respiratory disease caused by different strains of the influenza virus and can result in mild to severe illness.

The flu vaccine is still available and recommended as the best way to prevent the flu.

Last year's flu season was the deadliest since 2009 when H1N1 broke out.

Nationally, there have been six influenza-associated pediatric deaths reported during the 2018-2019 flu season.

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People under the age of 45 were the least likely to report being vaccinated.

She says "We still encourage people even when you get the vaccine, to practice your hand washing skills, to cough and sneeze into a tissue or into your sleeve and to stay home if you're sick".

According to the CDC, flu is being seen throughout the country, but activity is highest in Colorado and Georgia. Officials add 39.5 percent of MI residents were vaccinated last season, below the national rate of almost 42 percent.

Flu vaccine remains available at physician offices and some pharmacies.

Last year's flu season, keep in mind, was particularly severe. Influenza A (H1N1) pdm09 viruses are predominating in most areas of the country. "It takes approximately two weeks for the protection provided by vaccination to begin", the CDC said. The vaccine is especially important for people at high risk for complications from influenza, including children under age 2, pregnant women and adults over age 65.

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