Death of 8-year-old girl in Queens deemed flu-related

Amid the state’s worst flu season in 10 years city health officials are urging New Yorkers to get flu shots and stay home if they have the virus

Flu season runs from October through May, but Bassett says there has been an early surge this year.

Two New York City children died from the flu Monday in what health officials said were the first confirmed pediatric fatalities linked to the virus this season in the five boroughs.

Over 2,000 New Yorkers died from the flu and pneumonia, a common flu-related complication, in 2015, the a year ago with records available, according to a release from the New York City Health Department.

"It's not too late to get a flu shot", Bassett said.

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She had been diagnosed with the flu on Sunday.

Getting the flu shot reduces the odds you'll get the flu, and typically makes the symptoms milder if you come down with it anyway.

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Among the most vulnerable patients during flu season are senior citizens, children and those with chronic medical conditions. It can prevent the flu or lessen the symptoms.

According to DOH, 6.5 percent of weekly emergency room and outpatient clinic visits have been related to flu-like symptoms, the highest percentage in four years.

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While many healthy individuals who are infected with the flu will recover without issue, infants, toddlers, and those ages 65 years and older are at greater risk for developing serious complications. "That's not zero. What is a zero percent protection is not getting the vaccine", said Bassett.

That's the message New Yorkers need to know from the New York City Emergency Management Department's latest podcast series. The CDC lists the following as warning signs of flu in children.

For more information about where to get vaccinated, call 311, visit nyc.gov/flu to access the Flu Vaccine Locator, or text "flu" to 877877.

"New Yorkers don't have to choose between their paycheck and caring for themselves or their loved ones if they have the flu - they have the right to sick leave", said Salas.

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