SuperTalk Mississippi

2-year-old girl dies from flu in Mississippi

Photo courtesy of Telesouth Communications Inc.

As flu season in Mississippi continues, the virus has claimed the life of a child in Forrest County.

A 2-year old girl in Forrest County has died as a result of complications from the flu. Forrest County Coroner Butch Benedict says that the girl was diagnosed on Friday, and died after being brought the emergency room at Forrest General Hospital on Sunday.

Flu season has been particularly harsh this year, and state epidemiologist, Dr. Paul Byers, has said that children under the age of five and the elderly are more susceptible to influenza.

“[Flu] has the tendency to cause more severe illness in those especially over the age of 65, children under the age of five and people with compromised immune systems. This is the kind of season that can cause more hospitalizations and more complications, and that’s why we want to make sure everyone knows that if you haven’t gotten your flu shot you should still get one,” Dr. Byers said.

This is the first pediatric death from the flu this year in Mississippi. According to the CDC, there have been 30 pediatric deaths across the country.

Dr. Byers went on to say that no matter the effectiveness of the vaccine, everyone should still get the flu shot.

“The vaccine has not been as effective as we would’ve liked at preventing illness, but what we do know is that for folks who have been vaccinated and still get the flu, their infection is much less severe. They are at much less of a risk of hospitalization or any other complications,” Byers said.

The Mississippi Department of Health recommends the following tips for flu prevention as the virus continues to spread.

  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
  • Avoid close contact with others who are ill

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