Pinal County this week reported the first pediatric flu death in Arizona for the 2022 season.
“This tragic situation, unfortunately, reminds us that flu can cause serious illness and death,” said Dr. Tascha Spears, health director for the Pinal County Public Health Services District.
“Our deepest sympathy goes out to this child’s family.”
This year’s flu season has started earlier, county officials said in a release, and hospitals are “significantly impacted by the amount of cases” coming to emergency departments.
Since the start of the flu season, 172 lab-confirmed influenza cases have been reported in Pinal County, and 4,552 cases total in the state of Arizona, according to officials.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months and older get the flu vaccine.
The vaccine provides protection from hospitalization and death even if an individual gets the flu, health officials said, adding it takes an immune system two weeks to build a defense against the flu.