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State has its 1st pediatric flu death of season

JACKSON (AP) — Mississippi is reporting its first pediatric flu death of the current season.

The state Health Department said Monday that the death happened in the southern part of the state. Spokeswoman Liz Sharlot says the department could not disclose where or when it occurred.

However, Forrest County Coroner Butch Benedict tells the Hattiesburg American that a 2-year-old girl from Sumrall died Sunday of flu complications.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 30 pediatric flu deaths have occurred in the United States this season.

The only Mississippi flu deaths that must be reported are for people younger than 18.

The Health Department has collected pediatric flu statistics since 2008. There have been 17 deaths since then, including the latest.

The department recommends flu shots for people 6 months and older.