Florida Reports 1st Pediatric Death for 2018-19 Flu Season

CDC reported 183 influenza-associated pediatric deaths during the 2017-18 flu season

dad and daughter on a Florida beach

The first pediatric death of the 2018-19 flu season has been reported by the Florida Department of Health (FDH).   

The unvaccinated child tested positive for the influenza B virus and died before October 6, 2018. The child was otherwise healthy, with no known underlying medical conditions. 

As of October 12th, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that during the 2017-18 flu season, 183 influenza-associated pediatric deaths occurred. 

According to the CDC, approximately 80 percent of these pediatric deaths were unvaccinated. 

Since July 2018, the most common influenza subtype detected at the Bureau of Public Health Laboratories has been influenza A 2009 (H1N1). 

However, influenza A (H3) and influenza B Yamagata lineage viruses have also been detected, reported FHD in its Week 40 report. 

Children, especially those who are under the age of 5 or those with a chronic health problem, have a higher risk of developing serious flu-related complications, according to the CDC. 

While not perfect, the best way to prevent catching one of the influenza viruses is with the seasonal flu vaccine. 

Influenza vaccination has been shown to reduce a child’s likelihood of dying from influenza by up to 60 percent.   

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Since it takes about 2 weeks for antibodies to develop that protect against an influenza virus infection, it is best to get vaccinated as soon as possible. The CDC recommends everyone over 6 months of age get vaccinated by the end of October each year. 

There are various flu vaccines available for the 2018-19 season. 

If you have questions, it's best to speak with your doctor, nurse or pharmacists. 

Most pharmacies in the USA offer several FDA approved flu and vaccines. 

The CDC Vaccine Price List provides the private sector prices for general information. 

Flu vaccine discounts can be found here. 

Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of vaccines to the FDA or CDC. 

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