Flu Proves Deadly in Children

By: Ali Gorman, R.N.
By: Ali Gorman, R.N.

Doctors have always known the flu can be deadly for kids, but now they have statistics, at least from one year, to prove it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released numbers from the 2003 to 2004 flu season. It shows at least 153 kids died of the flu that year and many were healthy kids with no underlying medical conditions.

The majority of victims was under five years of age and had not gotten a flu shot. At least 12 percent though were under six months of age and too young to get a shot.

Doctors say babies under six months can be protected by having their mother vaccinated while pregnant and having everyone in the household get flu shots as well. This way the baby will indirectly get protection.

Doctor Dean Sienko of the Ingham County Health Department said this study reminds us of the potential aggressiveness of the virus and said it may lead to broader guidelines when it comes to getting kids vaccinated. He also said it's not too late now for families to come in and get a flu shot.


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