What to Know
- A 5-year-old girl died of the flu over the weekend, marking New York City's fourth such pediatric death this season, health officials say
- First responders found the child unconscious; they tried to resuscitate her, but she was pronounced dead at a hospital
- Meanwhile, a New Jersey kindergartner's death is being investigated as flu-related, officials there say
A 5-year-old girl died of the flu over the weekend, marking New York City's fourth such pediatric death this season, health officials confirmed Monday, while a New Jersey kindergartner's death is being investigated as flu-related, officials there say.
In the case of the New York City girl, her panicked mother reached out to her neighbors for help when she found the child unconscious in their Canarsie home around 8 p.m. Saturday, emergency responders and witnesses had said. One neighbor ran in to give the girl CPR while another called 911.
First responders found the child unconscious; they tried to resuscitate her, but she was pronounced dead at a hospital. Neighbors said the family complained about the child having a fever prior to her death.
Health officials said no additional information about the New York City child would be released. In a statement, authorities called the girl's death tragic and urged anyone who had not been vaccinated against the virus to do so immediately.
It wasn't clear if the child had received a flu shot.
The New Jersey child was a kindergartner at Lincoln School in North Bergen, where she attended class Friday and was not sick, officials said. She died at a local hospital, and the school learned of her death Monday.
The school will be notifying parents Tuesday, and grief counselors will be available.
The New Jersey Department of Health, however, said it had not received any reports of a second pediatric flu death in the state as of Monday afternoon.
This year’s flu season is now as bad as the swine flu epidemic back in 2009. Last week, an 8-year-old girl from Queens died from the flu. Pediatric deaths have also been reported in Connecticut and New Jersey.
Last flu season, there were six flu-related child deaths in New York City, and 106 nationwide. Since 2004, anywhere from zero to eight pediatric flu deaths have been reported to the city's health department. With two months left of the 2017-18 season, health officials warn anyone who may be affected to seek medical care as soon as possible, particularly people with compromised immune systems, children, pregnant women and elderly people.
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