Pediatric flu death confirmed in W.Va.

Hamilton Public Health says a flu shot can still be effective despite the city being at the halfway point of flu season

A Virginia teen has died from flu complications, the state's first pediatric flu death of 2019-20 flu season.

The influenza virus typically infects the nose, throat and sometimes the lungs.

"We extend our deepest sympathies to the child's family and friends", said Dr. Cathy Slemp, State Health Officer and Commissioner of DHHR's Bureau for Public Health.

"I would say the average Malheur County resident is way, way more likely to get flu than the coronavirus", said Angie Gerrard, a registered nurse at the Malheur County Health Department.

Nationwide, 78 children had died of flu this season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "While most people recover from the flu in a few days, it clearly is and can be a serious and life-threatening illness in both children and adults".

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Dr. Mark Loeb, division director of infectious diseases at McMaster University, told Global News that the flu shot you get from a clinic or pharmacy is not flawless but provides above-average protection when administered.

"It's not too late to get your flu shot, as influenza activity in West Virginia remains widespread. There is still time to protect yourself and your loved ones this flu season".

"(February 11, 2020) by 10:00 am, 5 patients have tested positive for the flu", Sitzman said in an email to The Shield. However, the general public can take the usual, recommended actions to prevent infection.

In addition, last week, 17,231 laboratory-confirmed flu cases were reported to the State Department of Health, a 15 percent increase in cases from the week prior. For more information on flu in Virginia, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/influenza-flu-in-virginia/. "This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!" The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe, and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018 through to the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

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