NEW YORK — This season’s aggressive strain of the flu virus may have claimed another young life.
A 5-month-old baby from Brooklyn has died at a local hospital, and the city Department of Health is investigating whether the child had the flu.
Pediatric flu deaths in the tri-state area continue to rise.
If confirmed, the infant would become the fifth child in New York to die from flu complications this season.
Two New Jersey girls have died, as well as a 10-year-old Connecticut boy.
On Tuesday, Garden State health officials confirmed the death of 6-year-old girl from North Bergen. Nevaeh Hernandez attended kindergarten at Lincoln School.
North Bergen is now offering free flu vaccines to every child in the school district, as well as parents and seniors.
The North Bergen schools superintendent said classrooms are being disinfected.
“We’ve been using a bleach solution on every desk for the last couple of week we’ve been sanitizing all the doorknobs and handles and panic bars,” Superintendent George Solter said.
Nationally, the numbers are grim. There have been at least 65 pediatric flu-related deaths nationwide this winter.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting this to be the worst influenza season in over a decade.
“In severe seasons in the past over 700,000 people have been hospitalized and 56,000 people died from influenza. We may be on track to reach or even exceed those records,” Anne Schuchat, CDC acting director, said.