3rd Middlesex County Child Dies from Flu
The flu season’s third influenza-related pediatric death involving a Middlesex County resident was reported by state officials Tuesday.
An unidentified teenage boy -- whose specific address was not immediately divulged -- succumbed to the flu, according to a press release issued by the state Department of Public Health.
“This latest pediatric flu-related death underscores the seriousness of influenza and the need for everyone over the age of 6 months to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Larry Madoff, medical director of the Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences at the DPH.
“Data suggests that we may be past the peak of the flu season, however it is not over yet,” he added.
This latest teenage boy and two female children from Middlesex County have died during this flu season, Tuesday’s release states. In total, there have been four flu-related pediatric deaths during the flu season, with the fourth involving an adolescent male from Worcester County. Those deaths occurred in January and February.
In Lowell, Puthiraksmey “Raksmey” Sopheak, 4, died Feb. 16 at Lowell General Hospital after flu complications.
Four is a noticeable contrast to last year’s flu season, when one pediatric death was reported, the release states.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates between 12,000 and 56,000 deaths due to complications of the flu each year in the U.S. The Department of Public Health estimates between 250 and 1,100 Massachusetts residents die annually from the flu.
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