Public health officials in Idaho are reporting two flu-related deaths among children younger than 18, bringing the death toll to 21 since the start of the flu season. The 19 adults who died were all older than 50.
“Our sympathies are with the families of all the victims, and especially with those grieving the loss of a child. Although influenza has hit the older population particularly hard this season, these pediatric deaths are a tragic reminder that influenza can be a very serious infection for all age groups,” says Dr. Leslie Tengelsen, Deputy State Epidemiologist. “Influenza activity is still high, and as long as the virus is circulating in our communities, the best protection for you and your family is to get the vaccine. It is not too late to get the shot.”
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is still recommending everyone older than six months get the flu vaccine. Officials say there is still plenty of pediatric vaccine for those who want it. Adults may want to call ahead to make sure vaccine is available.