Unvaccinated Florida Child Is First To Die In This Year’s Flu Season

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- The Maryland Department of Health confirms the first cases of the flu in the state for the 2018-2019 influenza season.

The health department also plans to announce additional flu shot clinics for children and adults who cannot be present for the drive through event. The report did not say where the child died but did say the child was otherwise healthy.

Taking a pass on the flu shot could mean passing on the virus and the risk to others, Lambton Public Health says. The child tested positive for influenza B at a local health care provider.

Other studies have shown that in addition to helping to protect pregnant women, a flu shot during pregnancy helps protect babies from flu infection for several months after birth before they are old enough to get their own vaccinations.

Last year's flu season was severe with high levels of outpatient and emergency department visits, high hospitalization rates, and widespread influenza activity across the country.

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According to officials, last year's vaccine was not as effective because the strain that caused many Albertans to be sick wasn't included in the vaccine.

"Any death, especially one in an unvaccinated child, is a somber reminder of the importance of flu vaccination and the potential seriousness of flu", CDC spokesperson Kristen Nordlund told weather.com.

At least eight children in Florida died during the 2017-18 flu season, which was said to be the worst in decades. Last winter, an estimated 80,000 Americans died from the flu. It is unknown whether the woman had underlying health conditions or whether she'd received a flu shot. "It's not a suppressed virus, so it can not technically give you influenza", Fristo said. They encourage everyone to get protected before the end of the month. "This season, influenza vaccines have been updated to better match the circulating strains". And she adds that now is the right time to get the shot before the season starts to ramp up.

"Additionally, we recommend that women who are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant get their flu vaccine", Lund said.

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