Second Mississippi child dies of flu in 2017

Published 11:15 pm Tuesday, April 18, 2017

JACKSON (AP) — State health officials say a south Mississippi child has died of influenza — the second pediatric flu death of the year. The first death was in the central part of the state in January. Cities and details were not disclosed.

Mississippi started reporting statistics about pediatric influenza deaths during the 2007-08 flu season. Since then, 16 people younger than 18 have died of the flu, including the two this year. The state does not track the number of flu deaths for adults.

Dr. Paul Byers, the state epidemiologist, says the typical peak flu season in the state has passed, but the illness can occur at any time of the year.

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Byers says vaccination is the best way to prevent infection.