HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — The Florida Department of Health (FDOH) has confirmed the first flu-related death in Florida this season. An unvaccinated child died after testing positive for influenza B.
Health officials say that the child had no known underlying medical conditions. This is the first influenza-associated pediatric death reported in the state for the 2018-19 season. The report from the FDOH did not state where in Florida the death occurred.
Additionally, the report stated that two new outbreaks of influenza or influenza-like illness (ILI) were reported in week 40 in Hillsborough County. One outbreak of influenza unspecified and group A Streptococcus and one outbreak of ILI. Both of the outbreaks reported in week 40 occurred in schools or camps, however, the FDOH does not release specific locations.
The FDOH says that additional outbreaks in schools, camps or child daycares are expected in the coming weeks as we head further into flu season. The Department recommends annual flu shots, stating that it is the most important step in protecting against the flu.
The Department also recommends taking preventions to prevent the spread of influenza, such as keeping sick kids home until they are fever-free for 24 hours and washing your hands often with soap and water.