Public Health Reports First Pediatric Flu Death of 2022-2023 Flu Season – Public Health Insider

Public Health has learned that a child in King County has died from complications of the flu. The elementary-school-aged child passed away on November 13, 2022. This is the first reported pediatric flu death this season in King County and Washington state. It is also the first flu death among children in King County since the 2019-2020 season. Since October, we have seen earlier and faster flu activity locally than in previous seasons.

The death follows illnesses and hospitalizations from infections caused by multiple respiratory viruses among children in King County and nationally. Hospitals are reporting that they are over capacity with high levels of pediatric respiratory virus spread. These trends are likely to continue in the coming weeks.

,The loss of a child to illness is sad, and our thoughts are with this child’s family and loved ones,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle and King County. “The flu particularly affects young children, as well as people of any age with underlying medical conditions, pregnant people, and people over the age of 65. Because flu activity typically persists for several months, longer It’s a good time for children and adults to get an annual flu vaccine, if not already vaccinated, and to take steps to protect those who may be at higher risk, including staying away from others. Including staying in. We are sick.

How to help prevent disease and protect the most vulnerable

  • Get your flu shot and updated COVID-19 booster now. There is no vaccination against RSV. However, getting vaccinated for other respiratory viruses – COVID-19 and flu – will help keep you safe and help protect our fragile health system. It is safe to get both the flu and covid vaccines at the same time if the person is yet to get vaccinated.

    , Flu Vaccine: Everyone 6 months and older should get the flu shot every year. Flu Shot Clinic. Information in Spanish.

    , Covid Booster: Everyone age 5+ who received a COVID-19 shot (booster or primary series) at least 2 months ago is eligible and should receive an updated booster. Therefore, even if you previously received a COVID-19 booster, you should still receive this updated booster.

  • Wash hands regularly.
  • Wear a high-quality, well-fitting mask in indoor public places.
  • If you are sick – even if you test negative for COVID-19 – stay home. This is especially important if you are going to be around small children.Older adults, people who are pregnant, or people who have underlying medical conditions.

Recommendations for families with young children and pregnant people

Pregnant people should get vaccinated: Pregnant people are at higher risk of severe illness and pregnancy complications from both the flu and COVID-19. We highly recommend that pregnant people get their flu shot and updated COVID-19 booster now, if not already vaccinated. This is important to protect both the pregnant person and the baby as the antibodies will be transferred from parent to baby.

Limit contact with infants and vaccinate the family around them: Given the high level of respiratory virus transmission, consider limiting the number of people with whom infants are in contact, and those who are sick should be treated by newborns. And should be kept away from babies. Make sure everyone in the family who can be vaccinated against flu and COVID-19 is up-to-date about these vaccines. This helps build protection for babies who cannot be vaccinated.

public health response

Public Health – Seattle & King County is working with the community to help reduce new infections, and is supporting the health care system in managing and mitigating the impact of this increase in infections.

Schools, daycares and the wider community are receiving information from public health to encourage vaccination and prevention steps.

Public Health has also issued a health advisory to King County healthcare providers, encouraging them to take steps to reduce the burden on overburdened hospitals. This also includes:

  • Sharing Prevention Messages to Deliver to Your Patients
  • encouraging expanded telehealth services and phone triage and clinical hours where possible
  • Encouraging providers to offer COVID-19 and flu vaccinations to patients who are not up-to-date
  • giving medications as soon as possible after the onset of symptoms, when appropriate, to ease serious illness
  • Promote continued universal masking in all health facilities

Originally posted on 11/23/2022

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