Second pediatric flu death of the season confirmed by Mississippi health officials

A second pediatric flu death this season in Mississippi was confirmed Tuesday by state health officials.

The death was of a patient who lived in south Mississippi, health officials said in a news release.

The first confirmed pediatric death of the 2016-17 flu season was reported in January. The patient in that case was from central Mississippi.

Including this reported death, there have been a total of 16 pediatric flu deaths reported in Mississippi since pediatric flu deaths became reportable in the 2007-2008 flu season.

“While our typical peak flu season in Mississippi has now passed, flu can occur year-round, even during the warmer months,” said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers. “We know, unfortunately, that influenza infections can lead to serious complications and in some cases, death, even for healthy children and young adults.”

Byers said the seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to prevent infection, and for anyone six months of age and older, vaccination can reduce the risk of complications and death.

Symptoms of seasonal flu include fever, cough, and often, extreme fatigue. Sore throat, headache, muscle aches, and a runny or stuffy nose are also often present. More severe symptoms and death can also occur.

Source: WAPT