MSDH confirms first pediatric flu death for this season

The Mississippi State Department of Health is reporting its first pediatric flu death for the 2015-2016 season.

The child lived in Northwest Mississippi, according to MSDH.

MSDH defines a pediatric death as someone who is under the age of 18.

“We know, unfortunately, that influenza infections can lead to serious complications and in some cases, death, even for healthy children and young adults,” said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Dobbs. “Flu activity has been modest this year, but increasing lately. It’s not too late to get a flu shot.  All indicators suggest that the current flu vaccine is a good match for the flu strains in Mississippi.”

“It’s very important to stay home when you’re sick so you don’t infect others. Also be sure to practice good hygiene such as covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and washing your hands frequently. Please contact your healthcare provider if you think you have the flu. Medications are available that can lessen the severity of illness,” said Dobbs.

MSDH said they have been reporting pediatric flu deaths since the 2007-2008 flu season. Their have been a total of 14 pediatric flu deaths recorded in Mississippi.

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