Public health officials aren’t saying where the child is from or the gender, but the 6-year-old died Feb. 4 from complications from the flu, according to state officials. The child had underlying medical problems, a release from the state said.
The flu kills around 25,000 people in the US and more than 220,000 are hospitalized due to the illness, information from the state says.
“We extend our deepest sympathy to the family on the loss of their child,” said Dr. Laura Gerald, state health director. “Unfortunately, this reminds us that flu is a serious illness and can be potentially devastating to people at any age.”
It’s not too late to get a flu shot, Gerald said, because the flu season can extend into spring.
And there’s plenty of flu vaccine, said Kelly Schermerhorn . The vaccine cost is free for children 6 months to 18 years old, and for college students attending a 4-year school. The vaccine is $21 for adults, Schermerhorn said.
You can get the flu vaccine by contacting your doctor or Catawba County Public Health’s Immunizations Clinic at 695-5800, she said.
Lynne Laws, a nurse and Community Health Services manager for Catawba County Public Health, said public health has not seen “significant flu-related activity in the community.”
“If you do get sick, remember to stay home from work or school while you are sick, cover coughs and sneezes, and — most important — wash your hands,” Gerald said.