Thursday, 20 June, 2019


First pediatric flu death reported to NJ Department of Health

Nastco  iStock Nastco iStock
Patty Aguilar | 10 January, 2019, 19:39

Hospitalization rates associated with the flu remained relatively low, at 5.4 admissions per 100,000 people.

- Officials announced Tuesday that the first pediatric flu death in New Jersey this influenza season has been reported to the Department of Health.

Dr. Siiri Bennett, state epidemiologist at the Maine CDC, said that flu season is unpredictable, and can peak at any time.

Maine ended the 2017-18 flu season with 9,018 cases and 82 deaths, the Maine CDC reported, the worst flu season in at least five years.

"For those of us who are not infected yet and haven't gotten the shot, you should get the flu shot now", Melnick said. "It's just a slow upward, so we're only at the beginning of flu season right now".

These numbers don't paint the full picture of influenza cases, because many people don't require medical treatment or get tested. H3N2, the strain largely responsible for last year's outbreak, has so far been less common than the H1N1 strain.

The HSE is urging all people in at-risk groups for the flu to get vaccinated if they have not done so already. "Less often, a person might get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes". The more people who are vaccinated, the less likely the virus is to spread - protecting those who are most vulnerable, including babies, older adults, and people with compromised immune systems.

Flu activity increases in October, with it peaking between December and February, according to the Centers for Disease Control. While it's best to get one early in the season, it's never too late - and doing so may protect not only you, but also children, the elderly and other vulnerable populations, experts say.

Officials did not release the child's age, gender and hometown.

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