Massachusetts reports season’s first pediatric flu-related death


FILE – In this Feb. 7, 2018 file photo, a nurse prepares a flu shot at the Salvation Army in Atlanta. The flu forecast is cloudy and it’s too soon to know if the U.S. is in for a third miserable season in a row, but health officials said Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019 not to delay vaccination. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

BOSTON (WPRI) ─ A Worcester County teen is Massachusetts’ first pediatric flu death this season, the Massachusetts Department of Health (DPH) announced Thursday.

The DPH said the teenager tested positive for influenza B.

“This is a tragic reminder of how serious the flu can be for both children and adults,’’ Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel said in a statement. “We want people to know that it’s not too late to get a flu shot.” 

As of Jan. 11, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a total of 39 flu-related pediatric deaths of the season nationwide.

Last flu season, health officials confirmed four pediatric flu-related deaths in Massachusetts.

The DPH is urging those who have not yet received a flu shot this season to get vaccinated. Symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, runny nose and fatigue.

More: Flu Resource Guide »

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