Yuma County shares importance of flu shots after child dies from infection

It’s Arizona’s first confirmed pediatric flu death this flu season.
Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 5:37 PM MST
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YUMA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - A child has died from the flu in Yuma County. It’s Arizona’s first confirmed pediatric flu death this flu season.

Yuma Deputy Health Director Kathy Ward said a death like this brings health into perspective. “It’s so unfortunate and we hate hearing anything like that. It pushes us even harder to make sure and get out there to vaccinate the citizens of Yuma County,” she said.

Last year, 182 children died from the flu. Six of those deaths were in Arizona, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services. “One of the reasons we press vaccinations is because there’s people who can’t get it, there’s children under six months who can’t get it because of their age, so they’re extremely vulnerable,” Ward said.

Ward said so far, their flu cases have been on par with their yearly average, except for last year, where there was a spike in flu cases nationwide.

Ward said they haven’t seen an increase this year but are staying proactive. “It’s out there, it spreads very easily and we want to make sure people stay protected against the flu,” she said.

Ward said they have been reaching out to vulnerable populations about the importance of the flu vaccine.

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