A 6-year-old girl from Hudson County died in a North Jersey hospital Monday, the second this influenza season in New Jersey, the New Jersey Department of Health has confirmed.
The department announced Tuesday that it has received notification of a hospital-confirmed pediatric flu-associated death. In a news release, the department said its lab will conduct a confirmatory test.
Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal and Acting Commissioner of Education Dr. Lamont Repollet said they were saddened to learn of the death of this child and extend their sympathies to family and friends.
“Stopping the spread of the flu remains a critical public health priority, which is why we have recently launched a significant public awareness campaign within my first few weeks on the job. We take every reported case of a pediatric flu-associated death very seriously,” said Elnahal.
North Bergen school officials confirmed on Facebook Monday that the district has “lost one of our own,” but did not disclose the cause.
The district did say that it was taking precautions “due to the recent flu virus outbreak.”
“During the last three weeks, each desk in our schools have been disinfected with bleach. In addition, our custodians have been spraying disinfectant on doorknobs, handles, toilets, sinks and other surfaces to help prevent the virus from spreading,” George Solter, superintendent of schools, said on Facebook.
The department announced last month that the first victim was a 4-year-girl lived who lived in Central Jersey. The girl, who was not identified, died in December and was not vaccinated. Ocean County officials later claimed that the girl was a resident of that county.
Read more: NJ Flu Scare: Worst Week Yet; Who’s At Risk?
The Departments of Health and Education continue to recommend that people take the necessary precautions during this flu season: wash or disinfect your hands frequently, cover any coughs and sneezes, stay home and call your healthcare provider if you are sick (especially with a fever), and get a flu shot.
“While effectiveness of the vaccine varies from year to year, in most people it still provides protection against the flu or severe symptoms if you do get the flu. Flu season can last until May,” Elnahal said.
Residents can find flu vaccination clinics near them by calling their local health department. Local health department contact information can be found on this site: www.localhealth.nj.gov.
The commissioners emphasized that schools should continue to protect students and staff by cleaning, disinfecting and sharing prevention tips to prevent the spread of influenza.
The first pediatric flu death this season was a 4-year-old girl from Central Jersey who died in December.
To learn more about flu, please visit http://www.nj.gov/health/cd/to…
The 4-year-old girl’s death was one of a growing number of flu cases in New Jersey that have more than doubled this season. Nationally, there have been a number of cases involving children who died after showing symptoms of a cold.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says children, especially those younger than 5 years, are at higher risk for serious flu-related complications.
The flu vaccine offers the best defense against getting the flu and spreading it to others, the CDC says.
Getting vaccinated can reduce flu illnesses, doctor’s visits, missed work and school days, and prevent flu-related hospitalizations and deaths in children, the CDC says.
Indeed, 12-year-old Florida boy who was otherwise healthy died from the flu last week and his family is now urging other parents to not take the disease lightly.
Last month, a 6-year-old girl in North Carolina died from the flu just days after showing symptoms. The family had taken her to urgent care and called an ambulance a day later when the girl was having trouble breathing.