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Health officials confirm Massachusetts' third pediatric flu death year



Massachusetts health officials confirmed the state's third pediatric flu dead of the season on Tuesday. Deaths from another Middlesex County child were reported Tuesday to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. WCVB has learned that the victim, a 4-year-old Lowell girl, died at the weekend. There have now been three flu-like pediatric deaths this season in the state – a young man from Worcester County and two female children from Middlesex County. There was an influenza-associated pediatric death in Massachusetts last year. This year's influenza season in Massachusetts for January has mirrored last year in that activity has been widespread and serious. "January and February are typically the height of the flu season, and flu-like complications can result in very serious life-threatening illness and even death among children and adults," said the Massachusetts Department of Health. Reports from both flu-like diseases and flu-like hospitalizations have both leveled out in the last few weeks. However, maximum influenza activity usually lasts throughout March. The Institute of Public Health encourages people to be vaccinated, wash their hands, cover their cough and sneeze and stay home when they are ill to limit the spread of the disease. The American disease control centers estimate between 1

2,000 and 56,000 deaths due to complications of the flu in the United States each year. Based on national calculations, DPH estimates between 250 and 1100 Massachusetts citizens annually die from complications of influenza.

Massachusetts health officials confirmed the state's third pediatric influenza cause of death on Tuesday.

Death of another child from Middlesex County was reported Tuesday to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

WCVB has learned that the victim, a 4-year-old Lowell girl, died at the weekend.

There have now been three flu-like pediatric deaths this season in the state – a young man from Worcester County and two female children from Middlesex County.

There was an influenza-associated pediatric death in Massachusetts last year.

This year's influenza season in Massachusetts for January has reflected last year in that activity has been widespread and serious.

"January and February are typically the height of the influenza season, and flu-like complications can result in very serious life-threatening illness and even death among children and adults," said the Massachusetts Department of Health.

Reports of both flu-like diseases and flu-like hospitalizations have both leveled out in the last few weeks. The maximum flu activity normally lasts throughout March.

The Institute of Public Health encourages people to be vaccinated, wash their hands, cover their cough and sneeze and stay home when they are ill to limit the spread of the disease.

US Centers for Disease Control estimates that there are between 12,000 and 56,000 deaths due to complications of the flu in the United States each year.

Based on national calculations, DPH estimates between 250 and 1100 residents in Massachusetts die annually from influenza complications.

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