Health officials encourage flu shot after child's first death from flu

CLEAR WATER, Wis. (WEAU) – The Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced the first death of the flu season in children.

Photo Cut: ZaldyImg / Flickr / CC BY 2.0 (MGN)

Health officials said that this year's influenza season was culminating and it was not too late to get vaccinated.

"These are very preventable deaths, which could be prevented with the use of vaccination," said Marcia Danzinger, infection prevention nurse at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire.

According to the Eau Claire County Health Department, 12 confirmed hospitalizations were recorded in Eau Claire County during this influenza season.

Local health officials said they expect this number to increase as the winter continues and the virus spreads even more in cold weather.

Danzinger says that there are certain symptoms to look for in a child, including high fever, cough or other symptoms of the upper respiratory tract.

She says the flu vaccine provides about 6 months of protection.

"People can still be vaccinated throughout the flu season," Danzinger said. "Last year, the season was particularly long and lasted until April; we were still vaccinating.

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