Health Care

Officials say a child is first to die in Florida flu season

Officials say a child is first to die in Florida flu season”

After the worst flu season in decades past year, Dr. John Cunningham of Comer Children's Hospital went so far to call it a "significant and national emergency".

The problem is that many parents are choosing not to vaccinate their kids because of misinformation about the flu shot.

"By getting the flu shot, you not only protect yourself, but you protect others who could have life-threatening complications from catching the flu", McGrath said.

The Florida Department of Health's Bureau of Epidemiology said in a report the unidentified child tested positive for influenza B and died between September 30 and October 6.

"After extensive studies, we know that the flu vaccine is safe", said Moorjani. This is especially crucial because babies under the age of six months can not get flu shots.

The Florida health department also identified two outbreaks of flu or a flu-like virus in Hillsborough County, which both spread to schools.

The vaccine protects against four strains of the influenza virus, including H1N1 and H3N2. Lomax says it's too early to tell if this flu season will be as bad as past year.

"The flu vaccine is the best protection against the flu", said Dr. Moorjani.

It's the first reported pediatric death in Florida for the 2018-19 flu season. So even if you've never had the flu before or you think you're too healthy to get it, don't gamble because your luck may eventually run out.

The CDC has published a report that revealed that pregnant women are 40 percent more at risk of hospitalization if they do not get their flu shot. "It just takes a few minutes, and if people can do it while on a short break from work, that will only encourage more people to get it". Those groups did not recommend the spray the last two flu seasons because it was not effective against some strains of influenza, but this year the organizations support the nasal spray as an alternative to the shot. Local health officials are offering up some tips on how prevent getting the flu.

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