What to Know
- A third New York City child has died of the flu this season, officials say
- This year's flu is especially strong and has caused widespread impact; flu hospitalizations are at an eight-year high across the nation
- Doctor visits for flu-like symptoms hit their highest level nationwide since the 2009 swine flu pandemic, authorities have said
A third child has died from the flu in New York City this season, health officials say.
Earlier this week, New York City announced its first two pediatric deaths from the flu this season. City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene officials said Monday the deaths of an 8-year-old girl from Queens and another child could both be attributed to the virus that has also been blamed for at least one other death in the Empire State. The second child was not identified.
“The tragic death of a child due to the flu is a reminder of the devastating effects this illness can have on people of all ages," a spokesman for the city Health Department said. "The influenza season is far from over, and it is not too late to get the flu shot. We urge parents to protect themselves and their families by getting this potentially life-saving vaccine today."
Those with a compromised immune system, children, pregnant women and aged 65 and older should seek medical care right away if they develop flu-like symptoms.
In the 2016-17 flu season, there were 106 flu-associated pediatric deaths nationwide, including six in New York City, according to health officials. Since 2004, between zero and eight pediatric flu deaths have been reported to the city health department each flu season.
In Connecticut, 11 more flu deaths have been reported since last week, bringing the total number of lives lost to flu in the state this season to 63 as of Feb. 3, the state Department of Heath said Thursday.
The number is perilously close to the total number of deaths from the 2016-17 flu season (65), up from just 37 in the 2015-16 season, which was the lowest number of flu deaths recorded in a season over the last six, officials said.
So far, 3,895 influenza positive laboratory tests have been reported this season, with Fairfield County (1,121) bearing the brunt of the diagnoses. Several local health departments across the state will be holding low- or no-cost flu vaccine clinics on Saturday. Get the list here.
In late January, a 4-year-old New Jersey girl became the state's first flu-related death of the season.
This year's flu is especially strong and has caused widespread impact. One New Jersey school district canceled classes Monday because so many staff members were sick.
Overall, there have been nearly 37,000 lab-confirmed flu cases over the past eight weeks in New York state, with more than 9,300 people requiring hospitalization.
Doctor visits for flu-like symptoms hit their highest level nationwide since the 2009 swine flu pandemic. Flu hospitalizations are at an eight-year high across the United States, federal officials have said.