Pennsylvania flu season drawing concern after pediatric death


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The state saw its first pediatric death of the year caused by the flu when a second-grade student died due to complications on Sunday.

“It’s absolutely tragic when a child passes away. I’m a pediatrician with my original training, and I can’t comment on the specific case, but we’re all very saddened,” Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said.

The Health Department says Influenza A has been more common this season.

“That would include, actually, older children. Teens and young adults are very susceptible to Influenza A,” Levine said. “That tends to hit seniors particularly hard and infants and young children.”

There have been 85,000 cases and one pediatric death in the state thus far. For perspective, Pennsylvania saw its worst flu season in 2017/2018 with seven deaths from ages 0 to 18.

“We have no evidence that we have peaked in this flu season and we are continuing to see significant rates of the flu,” Levine said.

The Department of Health says there’s still time to get your flu shot.

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