The second McLean County influenza death of the season has happened and the victim is a child. The eight year old girl passed away more than a week ago. So far this season Health Department Spokeswoman Kera Simon says there have been 96 flu deaths in the state and only two of them have been children.
"This season's flu that is circulating seems to be affecting older individuals more severely, or at least to the point of ICU."
The trend of this year's flu disproportionately killing older people also holds true nationwide. The Bloomington-Normal third grader died of pneumonia brought on by the influenza B strain of the virus along with other contributing factors. Simon says that is not a novel or uncommon virus. She says there were other medical circumstances involved in the death as well.
While influenza activity across the state is decreasing, flu is still present in our community in the amount that it was when it was increasing in December."
And Simon says both flu deaths in McLean County took place outside of the peak period. As of Friday, the Centers for Disease Control says numbers reported for Flu remain above the epidemic threshold although they do appear six weeks past peak for the season. And more than 9% of all deaths reported from 122 cities to the CDC mortality system involved influenza and related pneumonia.
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