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Pima County Health Department: First child flu death reported in 2023

Flu Vaccination
Posted at 12:39 PM, May 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-26 15:39:21-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — A child in Pima County has passed away due to flu for the first time since 2022, according to Pima County Health Department.

The child was elementary school-aged—an age group generally considered low-risk, according to PCHD, and this death occurred outside what's considered the regular flu season.

According to Health Director Dr. Theresa Cullen, getting a flu shot outside flu season is a preventative measure that can help diminish its spread.

“If you have not gotten vaccinated against the flu, you should as soon as you can,” Cullen said. “Getting a flu shot is one of the best tools we have to help protect ourselves against severe illness. Not only will the vaccine help better protect you, but it also protects those community members who are most vulnerable and at high-risk.”

Since October of last year, the county says it received reports of 3,627 cases of the flu. The CDC recommends flu vaccines for all people older than six months.

Within the state of Arizona, 36,117 cases of flu have been reported since October 2, 2022—considered the start of flu season.

Anne Simmons is the digital executive producer for KGUN 9. Anne got her start in television while still a student at the University of Arizona. Before joining KGUN, she managed multiple public access television stations in the Bay Area and has worked as a video producer in the non-profit sector. Share your story ideas and important issues with Anne by emailing or by connecting on Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn.