First flu-related pediatric death of the season in NJ reported, Health Department confirms

NEW JERSEY — A child has died from the flu, the New Jersey Health Department announced Tuesday, making it the first flu-related pediatric death of the season in the state.

Officials did not release the child’s age, gender and hometown. The child lived in the central region of New Jersey and passed away in December.

“I am deeply saddened for the family of this young child, who experienced an unthinkable loss,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal.

The flu is a contagious illness that affects the nose, throat, lungs and other parts of the body.

Health officials urged state residents to get flu shots and take precautions during flu seasons, including washing your hands frequently, covering any coughs and sneezes and staying home if you are sick.

Local health department contact information can be found here and information on flu vaccination clinics can be found here.

Every year in the U.S., more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications and the flu causes about 12,000 to 56,000 deaths each year, data shows.

For more information about the flu and how to prevent it, click here.