What to Know
- Two New York City children died Monday from the flu, according to the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
- Last week a 4-year-old New Jersey girl was that state's first flu-related death of the season
- A 10-year-old Connecticut boy died in New York last month after being diagnosed with the flu
Two New York City children died from the flu in what health officials said were the first confirmed pediatric fatalities linked to the virus this season in the five boroughs.
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 and at least 50 others across the nation.
"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 health department said in a statement. "The influenza season is far from over, and it is not too late to get the flu shot."
According to the New York Post and other media outlets, the 8-year-old died Monday morning after being prescribed the flu-fighting drug Tamiflu.
No other details were provided about the other child.
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, federal officials said Friday.
By comparison, city health department officials said there were 106 flu-associated pediatric deaths nationwide during the 2016-17 season, including six children who died in New York City.
The department added that between zero and eight city children have died from from the virus each year since 2004.