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Department of Public Health reports first child flu death of this year

HARTFORD – The Department of Public Health said a child has died from the flu for the first time this year and health officials spoke out about this deat...
 HARTFORD - The Department of Public Health said a child has died from the flu for the first time this year and health officials spoke out about this death with hopes it will not happen again. 

The child was between one to five years old and was from New Haven County. Health officials said this should be an example for children to get the flu shot if they have not already done so.

The child was one of nine additional flu deaths reported for the week of January 26th to February 1st.

"Well it’s certainly very sad. I think the loss of a child is tremendously sad and as a clinician, I certainly always every day encourage families to get flu shots for themselves and for their children," said Pat Ryan-Krause of New Haven.
Dr. Siniscalchi said this year's flu cases are not as high because of the type of flus circulating around the state.

Young children are the most susceptible, especially those under six months of two years.

"If we have a child who’s more vulnerable because they have an underlying medical condition, for example, something wrong with their lungs or their heart or their immune system, if they get a serious infection like the flu, that can worsen whatever else they have going on," said Patricia Garcia, Connecticut Children’s Pediatric Hospitalist.

While Dr. Garcia said getting the flu shot is the best preventative measure, there are other ways to do so such as:

  • Cover your cough
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap or hand sanitizer
  • Stay home to prevent others from getting sick
  • Disinfect surfaces at home (countertops, faucets and doorknobs)
Flu activity is constantly being monitored throughout the state. To read this week's flu stats, click here.