A child from Central Jersey has died from the flu, making this the first pediatric flu death in New Jersey this season, state health officials said on Tuesday.
State Health Department officials said that the child actually died late in December. The child’s age and gender were not released to protect the family’s privacy. State health officials did not release if the child had any other medical conditions at the time that may have contributed to his or her death.
“I am deeply saddened for the family of this young child, who experienced an unthinkable loss,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal in a statement from the state Health Department.
Health officials remind residents to get a flu shot to help stop the spread of the infection, and that it is additionally important for those who work in the health care industry, children, pregnant woman, older adults and individuals with weakened immune systems.
With the flu now being reported as widespread throughout New Jersey, having recently reaching high flu activity in the state’s 21 counties, health officials remind people to take extra precautions. Some recommendations include washing your hands, covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze and staying home when sick. For those with a high fever, they recommend seeing a medical professional.
For those looking to get a flu shot, call the local health department or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. To find local health department contact information visit a town website or the state site localhealth.nj.gov.
For more information about influenza, visit the state Department of Health website.