JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reports the first confirmed pediatric flu death in Mississippi for the 2018-2019 flu season.
The death happened in a child from south Mississippi with underlying health conditions.
Pediatric deaths are defined as deaths of individuals under 18 years of age.
Including this reported death, there have been a total of 20 pediatric flu deaths reported in Mississippi since pediatric flu deaths became reportable in the 2008-2009 flu season.
Nationwide, there have been five pediatric flu deaths reported this season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We know that last year there were 183 influenza deaths in children, three of which were in Mississippi,” said MSDH Interim State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs. “Nationally, about 80 percent of the pediatric deaths were in children who were not vaccinated against the flu.”
Mississippi’s first laboratory-confirmed case of flu was reported Tuesday.
Flu season peaks in January through March in Mississippi, and the flu shot usually takes up to two weeks to produce immunity.
Flu shots are recommended for all those six months and older. Those 18 and under who are eligible for the Vaccines for Children program can receive flu vaccination for $10. Insurance, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is accepted for children’s flu shots.