The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has reported the first child flu-related death of the season.
“This sad news proves how serious influenza can be and how important it is to take measures to protect our children,” said Lyn Ranta, MD, director of physician affairs at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, in a news release. “I cannot stress enough the importance of an annual flu vaccination for all children. If your child hasn’t gotten theirs yet this season, it’s not too late to help protect them.”
The DHS said the child was in Southeast Wisconsin, though they did not specify the prescice location nor the age of the victim.
"We are actually doing better this year than last year, but we are still seeing people hospitalized," said Dr. Margaret Hennessy.
"I always think of vaccines as an insurance policy. It's not that it's going to prevent you from having anything bad happen to you, but if you were to come into contact with that virus and you are vaccinated there's a good chance you'll get through it pretty well," Hennessy also said.
Since Oct. 1 of last year, there have been 13 flu-related deaths, including this pediatric death.
Families are urged to get the flu vaccine each year to help prevent the spread of the virus.