Local

First pediatric flu death since 2019-2020 season reported in King County

KING COUNTY, Wash. — An elementary-school-aged child died last week from flu complications, Public Health — Seattle & King County reported Wednesday.

The child died Nov. 13.

It’s the first reported pediatric flu death in King County since the 2019-2020 season.

“Since October, we have seen early, and rapidly increasing flu activity locally compared to past seasons,” Public Health wrote in a news release.

The death comes as infections in children caused by multiple respiratory viruses in King County and across the country are pushing hospitals over capacity.

The trend is expected to continue in the weeks ahead.

It’s tragic to lose a child to illness, and our hearts go out to this child’s family and loved ones,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County. “Flu hits young children especially hard, as well as people of any age with underlying medical conditions, pregnant people, and people over 65 years. Because flu activity typically remains elevated for several months, now is a good time for children and adults to get an annual flu vaccine if not already vaccinated, and to take steps to protect those who may be at higher risk, including staying away from others when we are ill.”

Public Health says though there’s no vaccination for RSV, getting vaccinated for COVID-19 and the flu is recommended and will help prevent hospitalizations for those illnesses.