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JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH)

reports the first confirmed pediatric influenza death in Mississippi

since the 2009-2010 H1N1 Pandemic flu season. The death occurred in a

North Mississippi child with chronic underlying health conditions.

Pediatric deaths are defined as deaths of individuals 18 years of age

and under.

Including today’s death, a total of 11 Mississippi pediatric deaths have

been recorded since pediatric flu deaths became reportable in

Mississippi in 2007.

“We are still in the middle of our flu season in Mississippi, and if you

have not gotten your flu shot, now is definitely the time to do so,”

said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Dobbs. “Vaccinating yourself

and your child against flu is critically important, especially if there

are underlying health conditions. The flu shot is by far the best

protection against the flu and its complications.”

The seasonal flu vaccine is recommended for anyone age six months and

older. Those particularly at risk for influenza complications include

young children, adults 50 and older, pregnant women, and those with

chronic illnesses.

Seasonal flu vaccinations are available at all county health

departments. Vaccinations for adults are $25. Those 18 and under can

receive seasonal flu vaccinations for $10 through the Vaccines for

Children program. High-dosage vaccinations for those 65 and older are

available for $50. The pneumonia vaccine is also available for $72.

Medicare and Medicaid recipients are asked to bring their cards with

them to the clinic.

Symptoms of seasonal flu include fever, cough, and often extreme

fatigue. Sore throat, headache, muscle aches, and a runny or stuffy nose

are also often present. More severe symptoms and death can also occur.

While vaccination is the best protection, basic infection control

measures can also reduce the spread of flu. These measures include

covering your mouth when coughing and sneezing, staying at home when you

or your children are sick, and washing your hands frequently.

To locate a county health department clinic in your area or for more

information on flu and pneumonia vaccines, visit the MSDH website at

www.HealthyMS.com <http://www.healthyms.com/> . Follow MSDH by e-mail

and social media at HealthyMS.com/connect <http://HealthyMS.com/connect>


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