Three children under the age of 18 years old have died from complications caused by influenza during the 2021-2022 season in Wisconsin, the Department of Health Services said Thursday.
These are the first reported pediatric influenza-associated deaths in the state, the DHS said, and used the milestone to urge families to vaccinate their children for the flu.
“It is important to remember that along with COVID-19, other communicable diseases such as flu are circulating in our communities. Each of these alone can pose serious health risks for children, and co-infection can occur," State Health Officer Paula Tran said in a statement.
During the 2019-2020 flu season, the DHS reported at the time that three children died from flu complications. In addition there were 4,425 flu-related hospitalizations and 183 deaths.
People over 6 months of age are recommended to get the flu vaccine, DHS said, and it is highly recommended for people who are at greater risk of becoming seriously ill - like people who are pregnant, over age 65, and those with chronic health conditions.
Besides getting the vaccine, health officials recommend you:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water.
- Avoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth.
- Stay home and away from others if you feel sick.
- Avoid being around others who are sick or have flu symptoms.
- Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze and encourage children to do the same.
Learn more about protection and treatment on the CDC's website.