SuperTalk Mississippi

First pediatric flu death announced by MSDH

JACKSON- The Mississippi State Department of Health has confirmed the first pediatric influenza death for the 2016-2017 flu season. Pediatric includes all individuals who are under the age of 18. 

The death occurred in the Central Mississippi area, the name of the individual has not been released.

“We know, unfortunately, that influenza infections can lead to serious complications and in some cases, death, even for healthy children and young adults,” said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers. “We are now in peak flu season, and it’s vitally important to get a flu shot if you haven’t done so already. All indicators suggest that the current flu vaccine is a good match for the flu strains in Mississippi.”

Mississippi has had 15 reported cases of pediatric flu deaths since it became reportable in 2007.

Byars encouraged people to get the flu vaccine as the best way to prevent infection and potential complications or death.

Across the nation it is estimated that 3,000-49,000 people die each year because of the flu and over 200,000 are hospitalized.

Symptoms include: fever, cough, extreme fatigue, sore throat, headache, muscle aches, and a runny or stuffy nose. More severe symptoms can develop if not treated.

“It’s very important to stay home when you’re sick so you don’t infect others. Also be sure to practice good hygiene such as covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and washing your hands frequently. Please contact your healthcare provider if you think you have the flu,” said Byars.

For more information on flu and pheumonia, visit MSDH’s website at 

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