MARICOPA, Ariz. - Maricopa County has confirmed the first pediatric flu death this season.
The child's age and gender were not provided. County officials said the child was not immunized. Two children died from the flu last season.
So far this season, more than 16,000 cases of the flu have been reported to the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, the highest number of cases reported at this point in any flu season.
"This incredibly sad case reminds us that even though the flu is common, it can cause serious illness and even death," said Dr. Nick Staab, medical epidemiologist at MCDPH. "This is a tragic reminder that anyone who is able to get the flu shot should, not only to protect themselves, but to protect those around them who are at highest risk of severe disease and death from the flu."
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommends that everyone who is 6 months and older to get the flu vaccine.
According to the CDC, symptoms of the flu include:
- fever* or feeling feverish/chills
- sore throat
- runny or stuffy nose
- muscle or body aches
- fatigue (tiredness)
- some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
Officials say ways to protect yourself and those around you from the flu include:
- Get the vaccine as soon as possible. It takes your immune system about 2 weeks to build defense against the flu.
- Wash your hands frequently
- Avoid touching your mouth and nose
- Cover your cough in your sleeve
- Stay home when you are sick
For more information, visit https://www.maricopa.gov/1873/Influenza-Flu.