Title: First Pediatric Flu-Related Death of 2023 Season Reported in Virginia
Date: [Insert Date]
Virginia – The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has confirmed the first influenza-associated pediatric death of the 2023 flu season in the state. The unfortunate victim, aged between five and 12, resided in Virginia’s Eastern region. While the exact details about the child and their family have been kept confidential, it has been revealed that complications related to the flu were the cause of death.
Dr. Karen Shelton, the State Health Commissioner, expressed sincere condolences to the family and stressed the severity of the flu. She urged all eligible individuals to receive the flu vaccine as a precautionary measure. According to the VDH, getting a yearly flu shot, following good preventive practices such as hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, and seeking early healthcare if necessary are the three key actions recommended to minimize the risk or severity of flu infection.
With the onset of colder weather, Virginia anticipates a rise in flu cases. Recent data from the VDH indicated that emergency departments and urgent care centers witnessed an elevation in flu-like illness cases, especially amongst young and school-aged children.
State authorities have expressed concern regarding the low flu vaccination rate amongst eligible Virginians this season, currently standing at only 27%. It is worth noting that vaccines have shown to significantly reduce the risk of flu-related emergency department visits and hospitalizations.
To address this issue, the VDH encourages individuals to visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or contact their local health department to find flu vaccine locations nearby. They also urge the public to stay informed about respiratory diseases in Virginia through the VDH Respiratory Diseases website.
Last flu season, Virginia reported a total of five influenza-associated pediatric deaths. The loss of yet another child has shed light on the importance of taking preventive measures and getting vaccinated.
As the flu season progresses, health officials will be closely monitoring the situation in Virginia and providing regular updates to ensure public safety.
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