FLORENCE, ARIZONA (November 23, 2022) – Pinal County Public Health Services District is saddened to confirm the death of a young child due to influenza. This is the first pediatric flu death in the state of Arizona this flu season.
“This tragic situation unfortunately reminds us that flu can cause serious illness and death,” said Dr. Tascha Spears, Health Director for the Pinal County Public Health Services District. “Our deepest sympathy goes out to this child’s family.”
This year’s flu season has started earlier and hospitals are significantly impacted by the amount of cases presenting in emergency departments. Since the start of the flu season, there has been a total of 172 lab-confirmed influenza cases reported in Pinal County, and 4,552 cases total in the state of Arizona.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months and older get the flu vaccine. The vaccine provides protection from hospitalization and death even if you get the flu. It’s important to get the vaccine as soon as possible because it takes your immune system 2 weeks to build defense against the flu.
In addition to vaccine, protect yourself and others from getting the flu by being vigilant in good hygiene: avoid touching your mouth and nose, wash your hands frequently, cover your cough in your sleeve and stay home when you are sick.