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A second Pierce County child dies from flu

Public Health Nurse Christa Moor
by Christa Moor01/22/2020 4:18 p.m.
Updated: 02/25/2020

Sadly, we just received another report of a young child in Pierce County who died from flu complications. The child was between 10 and 15 years old with no underlying health conditions. In Pierce County this season, this is the second child to die with the flu. We announced the county’s first pediatric flu death on Dec. 23, 2019. Seven adults have also died.

This flu season has been especially tough on children. The flu in circulation has hit them hard.

2019 Flu Facts Infographic with information about the flu in Pierce County during the 2018-2019 flu season and how to stay healthy.

Everyone in Pierce County should have the opportunity to be healthy. That’s especially true for our children. Healthy children have a better chance to grow up to become healthy adults. And with the flu, parents can help simply by making sure their children get a flu shot. 

Pro-tip for parents: Vaccinate your kids.

Any flu-related death is a sad reminder for parents that the flu is more than just a bad cold. It’s a serious respiratory virus that can be dangerous or even deadly, especially for children. It’s also a good reminder to get vaccinated. The flu shot is your best protection. It’s not too late to get yours to protect yourself and the people around you.

The flu shot is safe, and health experts recommend it for anyone 6 months and older. It’s the best defense to fight flu. The flu season can extend well into the spring. We can’t predict what will happen over the next few months. The sooner your children get vaccinated, the sooner they have protection.

My child has the flu. What should I do?

The flu can cause:

  • Fever.
  • Cough.
  • Sore throat.
  • Runny or stuffy nose.
  • Body aches.
  • Headache.
  • Fatigue.

If your child has these symptoms, call your healthcare provider. Your provider can give your child medications to fight the flu, but you must start the medications early to be effective.

Children younger than 5—and especially those younger than 2—are at highest risk to develop flu complications. Seek emergency medical care immediately if any child under 18 has:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing.
  • Bluish lips or face.
  • Ribs pulling in with each breath.
  • Chest pain.
  • Severe muscle pain (child refuses to walk).
  • Dehydration (no urine for 8 hours, dry mouth, no tears when crying).
  • Trouble being alert or interacting when awake.
  • Seizures.
  • Fever above 104°F.
  • In children less than 12 weeks old, any fever.
  • Fever or cough that improves but then returns or worsens.
  • Worsening of chronic medical conditions.

Give your children the best protection possible when you send them out into the world. Make sure they are up to date on their flu and other vaccinations to reach their full health potential. We have a list of free immunization clinics for children. Learn more about the flu at www.tpchd.org/flu

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  1. Updated: 02/25/2020
Public Health Nurse Christa Moor

by Christa Moor

Christa helps Pierce County residents get the immunizations they need to stay healthy.

 

We invite your comments but will delete those with profanity, personal attacks, derogatory statements, ads or promotional material. Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department does not provide personal medical advice; please contact your health care provider.