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Spike in influenza cases reported in schools in the Chicago area; 1 dead child



CHICAGO – A Chicago child has died of flu.

Officials said Wednesday that the child was the first pediatric death in Cook County and the third in the state this season.

Figures from the Illinois Department of Public Health show a slight rise in the flu.

Three schools in the northern suburbs reported clusters of flu.

At South Middle School in Arlington Heights, 192 of 884 students dropped out Wednesday due to flu-like symptoms. This is up from 183 on Tuesday. Of these, 30 influenza cases were confirmed.

Symptoms include fever of 100 degrees or more with cough and vomiting often associated.

During this season, three influenza-related deaths have been reported across the country, including two in Cook County.

At South Middle School, staff are asking parents to keep their children at home if they show signs of flu.

The Chicago Department of Public Health issued a statement that said:

The Chicago Department of Public Health (CRPD) is working to protect all Chicago residents from potential threats to health and common diseases such as the flu. To date, a pediatric death has been reported in Chicago. Although influenza activity is considerably lower than last year at the same time, flu-related complications continue to occur in those most at risk. The CRPD recommends annual influenza vaccination for all people six months of age and older. It is not too late to get vaccinated against the flu.

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