Wisconsin child dies from flu

MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - Wisconsin health officials reported the first child in our state to die in the 2019-20 flu season.

To protect the family's privacy, they'll only say the patient was under 10 years old and from the southeastern part of the state.

They say the child got "very sick very quickly" and died while being transported to a hospital.

The child moved to Wisconsin a couple months ago. They don't know if the child was vaccinated against the flu; they're trying to get the vaccination records.

State Influenza Surveillance Coordinator Tom Haupt says 622 people have been hospitalized for the flu and flu-related complications this season. Of those, 97 were placed in intensive care.

Haupt says 60% of hospital admissions are people under age 65, which he says is a reversal from past flu seasons when seniors made up the majority of the hospitalizations.

Health officials say flu season hasn't reached its peak yet -- that usually happens in February. People are urged to get vaccinated to protect themselves against the effects of the flu and also protect the people around them.

Furthermore, the DHS offers this advice to prevent spreading the flu:

  • Stay home if you're sick. You can pass the flu to friends or family before you even know you have it. See a health care provider if your symptoms persist or get worse.
  • If you’re visiting a loved one in a hospital, nursing home, or other assisted living facility, ask a nurse for a mask and be sure to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer. Some facilities may put restrictions on visitors. Check before you go.
  • Don’t hold or kiss a baby if you’re sick. Babies under six months old cannot get the flu shot.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your upper sleeve, and try to avoid touching your face with your hand. If you use a tissue, throw it away after one use.
  • Use your own drinking cups, straws, and utensils.
  • Eat nutritious meals, get plenty of rest, and don’t smoke.
  • Frequently clean commonly touched surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, refrigerator handles, telephones, faucets).