First Child Dies from Flu, Officials Encourage Vaccine

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The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has reported the first child, flu-related death of the season.

Health officials say this year’s flu season is peaking, and it’s not too late to get a flu vaccine.

“These are very preventable deaths, which could be avoided with the use of the vaccination,” said Marcia Danzinger, infection prevention nurse at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire.

The Eau Claire City-County Health Department says there have been 12 confirmed hospitalizations in Eau Claire County so far during this flu season.

Local health officials say they expect that number to climb as winter continues and the virus spreads even more in the cold weather.

Danzinger says there are certain symptoms to look for in a child, including a high fever, cough, or any upper respiratory symptoms.

She says the flu shot provides about 6 months of protection.

“People can still be vaccinated through the entire flu season,” said Danzinger. “Last year the season was especially long and went right into April; we were still vaccinating.” 

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