Flu causes first pediatric death in D.C. region, 32 pediatric deaths nationwide this season.
Friday, Children's National Hospital in D.C. confirmed the first flu death of a child for the region, joining a nationwide count of 32 pediatric deaths since the start of this flu season. The patient was checked into the hospital and tested positive for the flu last weekend.
Children's National Hospital released this statement:
"The team at Children’s National Hospital is dedicated to providing the very best care to every patient and our hearts break any time a family loses a child."
The CDC reports high influenza activity in the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area. Though the activity is high, the indicators that track flu severity (hospitalizations and deaths) are not high at this early stage of the season. However, children—especially those 5 and under—are at a high risk of developing serious flu-related complications.
It's not too late to get a flu shot.
Officials at both the Children's National Hospital and the CDC encourage families to get the flu vaccine if they haven't done so yet. The CDC affirms the effectiveness of flu shots as a way "to reduce flu illnesses, doctor’s visits, missed work and school days, and reduce the risk of flu-related hospitalization and death in children."
The CDC also has a flu-shot finder and studies on vaccine effectiveness you can check out here.
Children's National Hospital warns that children who experience any of the following symptoms should seek emergency medical care:
- Trouble breathing
- Bluish lips or face
- Chest or severe muscle pain
- No urine for eight hours
- Not alert when awake
- Fever above 104 degrees
Did your children get a flu shot this year? What has your experience been this flu season? Tell us in the comments!