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Wisconsin child dies of flu; hundreds hospitalized in state

in Health

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A child in Wisconsin has died from influenza, marking the state’s first pediatric flu-related death of the season, health officials said Friday.

Officials said the child was under 10 years old and died on the way to a hospital in southeastern Wisconsin. Officials said they don’t know if the child was vaccinated; the child had moved to Wisconsin just a couple months ago.

Department of Health Services influenza surveillance coordinator Tom Haupt said 622 people have been hospitalized for the flu and flu-related complications in Wisconsin this season. Of those, 97 were placed in intensive care. He said 60% of the hospital admissions were people under age 65.

Health officials say flu season typically peaks in February.

According to DHS, the child tested positive for influenza B, the strain that’s been rapidly spreading and has been increasingly problematic nationwide, particularly in younger patients.

Haupt said the best way to prevent the flu from spreading is to get vaccinated.

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