NORTH BERGEN, N.J. — A 6-year-old girl died from a flu-related illness in New Jersey, marking the seventh flu-related death of a child in the region this season, health department officials confirmed Tuesday.
The child has been identified as Nevaeh Hernandez, a kindergarten student at Lincoln School in North Bergen, PIX11 has confirmed.
Her death was announced Monday. The agency said a hospital confirmed that the child had flu when she died and that the department will conduct its own test to confirm.
The Health Department said it will be meeting with local health officials from North Bergen about the child’s death amid recent flu concerns.
Hernandez's father is in armed services and is stationed in Germany, PIX11 has learned. He flew home upon learning of his daughter's death.
The little girl was a student at North Bergen Schools, which says all elementary school students with a signed permission slip will get a flu shot in school Thursday, and high schoolers will get the shot next Tuesday.
The school also released the following statement Monday:
"Today is a sad for the North Bergen family as one of our own students has unfortunately passed away. Additionally, we would like to express our deepest sympathies to the family of our student, our hearts, thoughts, and prayers are with them during this difficult time.
"Due to the recent flu virus outbreak nationwide we have been disinfecting our desks and common surfaces in our school district. We are also urging parents to not send their kids to school if they are suffering from flu-like symptoms and to get them medical assistance if they are."
Hernandez's death was announced the same day the NYC Department of Health confirmed a fourth flu-related pediatric death in the city this season.
Children are especially at risk during flu season.
The Centers for Disease Control is reporting 63 children have died in the United States this season due to flu-related symptoms or complications, as of the week ending February 3.
Only 1 out of every 5 of them had been vaccinated.