New Jersey Health Department Confirms First Pediatric Flu Death Of Season

Grant Boone
January 10, 2019

Those in at-risk groups include people aged 65 and old, pregnant women and people with chronic diseases.

H1N1 has been the most common strain of the virus seen so far this season, which experts anticipate will be milder than last year's strain.

The Public Health Agency of Canada reports that 414 children under the age of 16 had to be hospitalized due to influenza across Canada since September, including 71 who had to be admitted to the ICU.

Flu season lasts until May.

Flu cases last week fell to 257 from 369 the previous week. The flu has resulted in up to five deaths of children across the country.

"Flu activity has taken off our projection is that it's going to continue to increase, probably for the next few months", says Dr. Andrew Walshak with Presbyterian/ St. Luke's Medical Center.

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New Brunswick's peak might come somewhat sooner, as cases there began spreading in late November.

So far in North Carolina, there have been 10 flu-related deaths this flu season.

As of December 29, New Brunswick had 579 lab-confirmed cases, 577 of them influenza A and two of influenza B. Of those, 71 people were hospitalized, 15 were admitted to the ICU and there were three deaths.

Meanwhile, 19 states and New York City were reporting high levels of influenza-like illness activity, meaning a much higher-than-average proportion of doctor's visits could be attributed to the flu. These tests are rapid, like the name suggests but depending on the actual strain of the virus going around they can have varying success in properly identifying the flu. "So, I tell patients it's never too late to get your flu shot".

"It's the best protection that we have to give people against the flu", said Russell, adding that children and adolescents, adults with underlying lung or heart conditions and the elderly should make sure they are immunized.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story.

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