State health officials report fifth pediatric flu death; urge everyone to get flu shot
The Times Union reports that a fifth child has succumbed to the flu in New York is a disturbing reminder of the need to get a shot this season, the state's health commissioner said on Dec. 27. The death in New York was just one of 47 pediatric death cases reported nationwide. “One pediatric flu death is already too many,” Dr. Mary T. Bassett said in a statement late Dec. 27. “With yet another death being reported in New York, we urge every New Yorker, parent, and guardian to get themselves and their children their flu shot immediately. It is not too late to get the most important protection for yourself and your family possible against becoming seriously ill.” The Health Department recommends that everyone, aged 6 months and older, get the flu shot. The department's new flu surveillance report, containing data through December 17, shows that 217,094 flu cases have been reported across the state's 62 counties to date, including 61 outbreaks in acute care and long term care facilities. Outside of New York City, lab-confirmed flu cases are up four percent. Confirmed cases in the city dropped 19 percent, while overall hospitalizations were down three percent as of the week of December 17. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there have been 12,000 deaths nationwide attributed to the flu so far this season. Read the full story in the Times Union.