Try 1 month for 99¢
Flu Season

In this Jan. 12 file photo, Ana Martinez, a medical assistant at the Sea Mar Community Health Center, gives a patient a flu shot in Seattle.

Sangamon County health officials are urging people to get flu shots after a 3-year-old girl died of influenza in suburban Chicago.

According to The Associated Press, the Kane County Health Department and the Kane County coroner's office said this week that the child died Dec. 21 at Rush Copley Medical Center in Aurora.

It's the first confirmed flu-related death of a child in Illinois during the current influenza season, Melaney Arnold, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Public Health, said Thursday.

There have been flu-related deaths in other states, with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting a widespread presence of the flu virus in at least about half of the country.

The level of flu-like illnesses being reported in Illinois, however, was categorized as "regional" by the CDC as of Saturday. That level is below the "widespread" level reported at this point a year ago and is within the average levels reported over the past six years.

Flu symptoms can include fever or chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headache and tiredness.

Health officials stress that vaccination can help prevent the flu. No shortages of flu vaccine have been reported in Sangamon County.

One adult with a confirmed case of the flu recently received care in a Springfield hospital intensive-care unit, said Gail O'Neill, interim director of the Sangamon County Department of Public Health.

Subscribe to Breaking News

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Most flu cases aren't reported to local and state health officials, but O'Neill said flu-related illnesses don't appear to be striking as many people or as severely as in 2018.

At Memorial Medical Center, doctors are seeing "low influenza activity," and restrictions for visitors are in place to prevent the spread of influenza, hospital spokesman Michael Leathers said.

Memorial treated one inpatient with flu for the week ending Dec. 29 and four inpatients for the week ending Jan. 5, he said.

Among School District 186 students and staff, there has been "no noticeable uptick in flu cases," district spokeswoman Bree Hankins said.

Arnold said it's not too late to get a flu shot. The vaccine takes about two weeks to become fully effective and can prevent flu-related illnesses or reduce their severity, she said.

Subscribe to Breaking News

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.
0
0
0
0
0

Load comments