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Vaccination Debate Forum
Local Child Dies from Flu
Date: 3/14/2008 10:06:54 PM ( 5 year ago )
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Created: 3/14/2008 1:52:20 PM
A letter sent home to parents whose children may have had contact with the child said the investigation is ongoing, but the department has "learned that the student's death is associated with an influenza A infection."
The four year old was a student at the Jewish Community Center in Getzville and The Little Red Schoolhouse in Williamsville.
Kristin Donnelly asks, "Is it unusual for an otherwise healthy 4 year old to die of the flu?"
Dr. Billittier answers, "Again, it's rare to die from influenza, but 36,000 people die every year from it."
Kristin Donnelly asks, "Is it just the flu that killed this child?"
Billittier answers, "The medical examiner's investigation is not complete but it appears at this point, the only finding, thus far, is that influenza A was found in this patient."
The flu is a virus that affects everyone differently. It's why the same strain that can cause someone to be sick for five days, could be fatal for another. This child became sick on Monday and died on Tuesday.
"Fortunately, most of us don't die from it, this particular child died from it for reasons that we don't know, but it's not neccesarily because the virus is more virulent," Billittier says.
The Health Commissioner urged adults and children to use good handwashing techniques and to get a flu shot.
Kristin Donnelly asks, "As of right now, there's no shortage of vaccine?"
Billittier, "We're aware of no shortage of vaccine."
Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control recommend children from the ages of six months until their 5th birthday get an annual flu shot. Billittier says ideally, vaccinations should be given before the start of the flu season but stresses it is not too late to get a shot this year.
Stay tuned to Channel 2 News and wgrz.com for the latest in this developing story.
Click here for more information on the flu
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