YUMA COUNTY, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – The flu has killed another Arizona child, this time in Yuma County. The Arizona Department of Health Services confirmed the death Friday, but no details were available.
The first reported pediatric flu death of the season was a Maricopa County baby who was too young to be immunized. That was in early December. It's not clear if the child in Yuma County had gotten a flu shot.
State health officials said in November 2019 that the number of reported flu cases was three times higher than the same time frame in 2018. They also have said that this season has been particularly hard on children. Numbers from earlier this week put the number of confirmed flu cases in Arizona at roughly 17,000, which is 85% higher than last year.
While coronavirus has dominated health headlines, AZDHS says there is only one documented case here. "Public health in Arizona is taking coronavirus very seriously, but the most immediate threat this time, as far as infectious disease to the Arizona public, is the flu," said Jessica Rigler, the assistant director of health preparedness as AZDHS.
That’s pretty much true throughout the country. There have been 15 million reported flu cases, including 150,000 hospitalizations and 8,200 deaths, experts say. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been more than 90 pediatric flu deaths throughout the country this season.