Maricopa County Department of Public Health officials said a child who was not immunized is the first pediatric flu death of the season.
“This incredibly sad case reminds us that even though the flu is common, it can cause serious illness and even death,” Dr. Nick Staab, medical epidemiologist at the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, said Tuesday, Jan. 24.
“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.”
There were two pediatric deaths recorded during the last flu season, according to the county.
While influenza deaths among adults are not reported to MCDPH, estimates of annual deaths from influenza nationwide range from 5,000 to more than 60,000 depending on the severity of the season, officials said.
“If you haven’t received your flu shot yet, please get vaccinated as soon as you can,” Staab said.
“You can help prevent the spread of flu in our community, especially to older adults, younger children and others who can’t get vaccinated or are at higher risk of flu complications.”
So far this flu season, more than 16,000 cases have been reported to MCDPH, the highest number of cases reported to MCDPH at this point in any flu season, according to a release.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone 6 months and older get the flu vaccine.
Other ways to protect against the flu include:
For more: Maricopa.gov/flu.