First pediatric flu death of 2018-19 season confirmed in Michigan

Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News
FILE - In this Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018 file photo, a nurse prepares a flu shot in Atlanta. On Friday, June 8, 2018, health officials said the flu killed more children in the past year that during any other regular flu season in recent history. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Lansing — State health officials confirmed Friday the first influenza-associated pediatric death of the 2018-2019 flu season.

The child, from Osceola County, was infected with influenza A/H1N1, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said.

The child had not been vaccinated against the flu this season, Health and Human Services spokeswoman Lynn Sutfin said. The exact age or gender of the child was not released because of privacy issues, health officials said.

Nationally, six influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been reported during the current flu season.

Last year’s flu season was estimated to be the deadliest since the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More than 79,000 deaths were attributed to the flu, 185 of which were children. In Michigan, two children died last year due to flu-related complications.

Although Michigan has only experienced localized flu activity during the past few weeks, the state health department strongly recommends that everyone six months of age and older get a seasonal flu vaccine.

For flu vaccine, call your health care provider, local health department or check the Health Map Vaccine Finder at