Arkansas reports first pediatric flu death of season, health department says


MI health officials say a child from Osceola County is the first in the state to die from the flu this season.

According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the death involves a child from Osceola County, near Cadillac, who was infected with influenza A/H1N1.

Influenza is a contagious, respiratory illness caused by a virus. McClinton says last year's flu season was highly severe with at least 27 flu-related deaths.

The CDC's computer game starts in Philadelphia on September 28, 1918, amid the U.S.'s most deadly flu pandemic. It is the highest weekly number reported since the season officially started October 1 but far below the numbers typically reported when flu is widespread.

Flu vaccine remains available at physician offices and some pharmacies.

People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, and lung or heart disease and those who are immuno-suppressed. Last year, more than 79,000 Americans died from the flu, 185 of which were children.

The top three reasons why they didn't want the shot were: bad side effects; thinking they'll get the flu from the shot; or thinking it doesn't work. To keep from getting sick, officials advise people to: "eat well, keep their feet dry [and] avoid crowds".

And while it is true that the vaccine doesn't work 100 percent of the time, the benefit is that it lessens the severity.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last year's flu season was estimated to be the deadliest since the 2009 H1N1 pandemic.

Stay home if you get the flu. More than 900,000 people were hospitalized and more than 80,000 people died.

Overall, flu activity remains low, both in New Mexico and nationwide; however, flu activity typically peaks between December and February. It takes two weeks for immunity to develop.