CDC urges flu vaccines after healthy child dies - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

CDC urges flu vaccines after healthy child dies

Posted: Updated:

An early-arriving flu season has claimed the life of a healthy youngster for the first time in years in Maine, officials said Tuesday, prompting pleas for people to get vaccinations.

The victim was an otherwise healthy elementary school-aged child in central Maine, a heartbreaking case that flies in the face of the perception that influenza is a disease that kills only the elderly and the frail, said Dr. Sheila Pinette, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention.

"It's a tragedy and we're really saddened by it. It highlights the need for people to get immunized," Pinette said.

Authorities declined to provide any further details on the child who died.

In Maine, influenza was documented before Halloween, far earlier than usual. In a typical year, the flu doesn't arrive until late November or early December, Pinette said.

So far, nursing homes, schools and day care centers have had 18 major outbreaks, which are required to be reported to state health officials, she said.

The death of a healthy child is extremely rare. The last flu deaths of children in Maine were in 2008 and 2010, and both involved a child with underlying health conditions, said John Martins, spokesman for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services in Augusta.

Symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache and general achiness and fatigue. People at high risk of flu-related complications include the elderly, children under 5, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems.

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up to 20 percent of U.S. residents will get the flu each year, with more than 200,000 of them being hospitalized.

The best way to prevent the flu is through vaccinations, which remain plentiful in Maine, Pinette said. People 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year unless their doctor recommends against it.

Those who have symptoms of the flu should see their doctor, stay home from work or school, and practice good hygiene to prevent the spread of the virus, she said.

  • HealthMore>>

  • FDA Approves Blood Test to Aid Diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes

    FDA Approves Blood Test to Aid Diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes

    FDA Approves Blood Test to Aid Diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes Type 1 diabetes blood test detects unique autoantibody (dailyRx News) While Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes share some traits, treatments for each condition...
    FDA Approves Blood Test to Aid Diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes Type 1 diabetes blood test detects unique autoantibody (dailyRx News) While Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes share some traits, treatments for each...
  • Reversing Prediabetes May Be a Heart Saver

    Reversing Prediabetes May Be a Heart Saver

    Reversing Prediabetes May Be a Heart Saver Diabetes and heart disease risk drops in prediabetes patients who regain normal blood sugar (dailyRx News) Blood sugar levels that are high but not high...
    Reversing Prediabetes May Be a Heart Saver Diabetes and heart disease risk drops in prediabetes patients who regain normal blood sugar (dailyRx News) Blood sugar levels that are high but not high enough to...
  • Study: Coffee helps you nap better

    Study: Coffee helps you nap better

    Friday, August 29 2014 10:19 PM EDT2014-08-30 02:19:02 GMT
    Drink a cup of coffee and you'll sleep better? It sounds confusing but there's actual science behind this. Researchers now say that having a cup of coffee and then sleeping for 20 minutes is an effective way to nap and feel refreshed. Here is why.
    Drink a cup of coffee and you'll sleep better? It sounds confusing but there's actual science behind this. Researchers now say that having a cup of coffee and then sleeping for 20 minutes is an effective way to nap and feel refreshed. Here is why.
Powered by WorldNow

KSAZ-TV & KUTP
511 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: (602) 257-1234
Fax: (602) 262-0177

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices