First pediatric flu death reported to NJ Department of Health

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That total represents roughly one-fifth of the 10,335 confirmed cases at this time last flu season. The predominant strain now circulating is H1N1, which is affecting younger age groups more than strains that have circulated in previous years.

County residents can get vaccinated at doctors' offices, retail pharmacies, community clinics and the county's public health centers.

"It's a different season, different profile. I think this year we can anticipate that emergency rooms, out-patient visits will be greater because younger people are being affected by H1N1, but the overall impact of serious outcomes should be less this year compared to the last couple of seasons".

Lab-confirmed flu cases in the county total 2,083 through January 5, according to the county's weekly influenza report.

Those in at-risk groups include people aged 65 and over, pregnant women and people with chronic illness.

Dr Kevin Kelleher, HSE Assistant National Director, Health Protection, said that Ireland had now entered the flu season. That's more than double the activity of the previous week.

There have been 1,723 lab confirmed cases of the flu since September 1.

IH is preparing to release a public service announcement, encouraging the public to get vaccinated.

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In Clark County, the flu killed at least 14 people last season.

"So we're probably on track to coming up to more of our peak activity in the next couple of weeks or so".

The child - from Central Jersey - died in late December.

- Officials announced Tuesday that the first pediatric flu death in New Jersey this influenza season has been reported to the Department of Health.

These tests are rapid, like the name suggests but depending on the actual strain of the virus going around they can have varying success in properly identifying the flu. People who suspect they are infected with influenza should stay home from work or school and seek evaluation by a medical provider. Healthcare workers should also get the vaccine to protect themselves and those that they care for.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story.

The child, whose identity was not disclosed, was from the southwest county area and was taken to a hospital outside the county, where the death occurred last week, according to Riverside University Health System officials.

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