Published: Sun, December 23, 2018
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

MI child dies from flu; 1st of the season

MI child dies from flu; 1st of the season

The state of Arkansas has experienced its first pediatric flu-related death of the season, health officials confirmed this week.

Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. So far, the MDHHS says MI has only experienced localized flu activity but still advises anyone older than six months get a flu vaccine.

Last year, two children died as a result of flu-related complications in MI.

The flu has ramped up in time for Christmas, the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday. Influenza A (H1N1) pdm09 viruses are predominating in most areas of the country. "I'd love to see us get the vaccine rate over 75 percent", he added.

Even if a person does become sick after vaccination, research shows those who are vaccinated develop less severe symptoms and recover more quickly than those who are not.

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The flu vaccine is inactive and can not cause the infection.

The top three reasons why they didn't want the shot were: bad side effects; thinking they'll get the flu from the shot; or thinking it doesn't work.

And while it is true that the vaccine doesn't work 100 percent of the time, the benefit is that it lessens the severity.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last year's flu season was estimated to be the deadliest since the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. "Changes in the immune system, heart and lungs during pregnancy make pregnant women (and women up to two weeks after delivery) more susceptible to severe illness from the flu, which could require hospitalization". Many were adults older than 65, but also 180 children died from the flu. And as we head into peak flu season, the vaccine looks good.

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