Pinal County reports first pediatric flu death

(CNN)
Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 2:38 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Pinal County Public Health Services District has confirmed the first death of a child due to influenza this season.

According to a news release from the district, both RSV and the flu were contributing factors in the child’s death.

“This tragic situation, unfortunately, reminds us that flu can cause serious illness and death,” said Dr. Tascha Spears, the county health director, was quoted as saying. “Our deepest sympathy goes out to this child’s family.”

This current flu season has started earlier, and hospitals have been impacted by the amount of cases presenting in emergency departments. Since the start of flu season, 172 cases have been confirmed in Pinal County and there have been a total of 4,552 cases in the state.

The Centers for Disease Control and prevention recommends that everyone older than six months receive a flu vaccine, which provides protection from hospitalization and death. It usually takes an immune system about two weeks to build a defense against the flu, health officials say.

The spread of the flu can also be prevented by practicing good hygiene, including avoiding touching your mouth and nose, frequent handwashing, coughing into your sleeve and staying home when sick.

Flu symptoms typically come on suddenly and include:

  • fever
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • headaches
  • fatigue
  • vomiting and diarrhea

Additionally, RSV and COVID-19 cases are increasing in Pinal County, as well as across the United states, All three respiratory illnesses have similar signs and symptoms.

There is no vaccine for RSV. But those who would like to schedule a flu shot or get other immunizations can call the Pinal County Public Health District at 1-866-960-0633 or click here.