NJ Teen's Death Confirmed as Flu-Related: Officials

The death is New Jersey's third confirmed pediatric flu fatality

By Tracie Strahan
|  Friday, Jan 18, 2013  |  Updated 6:33 PM EDT
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NJ Teen's Death Confirmed as Flu-Related: Officials

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Mark Hollaway

The death of a 14-year-old boy from New Jersey has been confirmed as flu-related, officials said Friday.

Startled students at Westfield High School identified the boy as freshman Mark Hollaway.

"He was a pretty good kid and he'll be missed," said Hollaway's classmate, Jeremy Dedea.

The death is New Jersey's third confirmed pediatric flu fatality, according to the state's Department of Health.

Officials say hospital emergency room visits by patients with flu-like symptoms in New Jersey are double the number seen at this time last year.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a public health emergency for New York state last Saturday in response to the flu epidemic.

Nationwide, at least 29 children have died from the flu, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

On a Facebook page created by Westfield High School students in memory of Hollaway, his young peers wrote posts saying, "When you believe you're sick, please, especially in this horrible flu season, stay home from school" and "No one deserves to die so young. R.I.P Mark."

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