Mississippi reports 2nd pediatric flu death this season
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi’s health department has reported this flu season’s second flu death of a child or teenager. The first was reported in December.
Pediatric flu deaths have been steady, with a total of 24 reported over 14 seasons including the current one, Mississippi Department of Health spokeswoman Liz Sharlot said Wednesday.
The state began requiring the reports for the 2008-2009 flu season.
There were no pediatric flu deaths last season and the highest total ever was three, Sharlot said. The latest death was reported Tuesday on Twitter.
The national total of reported pediatric flu deaths has ranged from 37 to 199 since the 2004-2005 season but actual numbers are probably higher, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
About 80% of the children whose deaths were reported had not been fully vaccinated, the CDC noted.
Flu season typically peaks in January through March in Mississippi, and the flu shot usually takes up to two weeks to produce immunity.
Children as young as 6 months can be vaccinated.