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Michigan Child Dies From Flu; First In State This Season

December 21, 2018 - 2:52 pm
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LANSING (WWJ) - A child has died from the flu; the first confirmed in Michigan this season.

According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the death involves a child from Osceola County, near Cadillac, who was infected with influenza A/H1N1.

Nationally, there have been six influenza-associated pediatric deaths reported during the 2018-2019 flu season; and while there's only been localized flu activity across Michigan in the past few weeks, the health department "strongly recommends" that everyone 6 months of age and older get a flu shot.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), last year’s flu season was estimated to be the deadliest since the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. More than 79,000 deaths were attributed to the flu, 185 of which were children. In Michigan, two children died last year due to flu-related complications.

Health official say the flu vaccine is safe -- and that it's the best way to prevent against getting the flu and can also reduce the severity of flu illness. Vaccination is especially important for anyone at increased risk for complications from flu, including children, adults aged 65 years and older, people of any age with underlying medical conditions, and pregnant women.

Kids under 6 monthshttp://Flushot.healthmap.org  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.  

There is still plenty of flu vaccine available.

To find a flu shot near you, call your healthcare provider, local health department, or check the Health Map Vaccine Finder at Flushot.healthmap.org. For more information about the flu, visit Michigan.gov/flu.

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