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Connecticut reports season's first child influenza death

A flu vaccine is readied at the L.A. Care and Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plans' Community Resource Center  Oct. 28, 2022.
Mark J. Terrill
A flu vaccine is readied at the L.A. Care and Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plans' Community Resource Center, Oct. 28, 2022.

For the first time this flu season, a child has died from influenza in Connecticut. The state Department of Public Health announced Thursday that the child was under the age of 10, although the child's exact age was not released. The child lived in New Haven County and died sometime in December.

State Public Health officials urge people to get flu shots, wash their hands and stay home when they're sick. Connecticut faces high levels of three respiratory viruses this winter: influenza, COVID-19, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which primarily impacts children and older adults.

Nearly 22,000 cases of flu have been reported in Connecticut so far this season. There have been around 530 hospitalizations and 18 deaths.

“The flu continues to circulate and is particularly dangerous to the very youngest and the oldest people in your life,” DPH Commissioner Manisha Juthani said in a statement. “The holidays are just around the corner, so I strongly recommend that persons 6 months of age and older get a flu shot to help protect themselves and their family members.”

Flu season takes place between October and May. The DPH says highest levels of influenza are traditionally seen between December and March. Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, chills, congestion and fatigue.

Matt Dwyer is an editor, reporter and midday host for Connecticut Public's news department. He produces local news during All Things Considered.

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