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Child's death is the first of flu season in Pinellas

A Pinellas County child died Saturday after testing positive for influenza, health officials said Wednesday.

The child's death is the first reported to the Pinellas Health Department related to flu this season, said Health Department spokeswoman Elaine Fulton-Jones.

The child was admitted Jan. 10 to Morton Plant Hospital with a fever, nasal discharge, vomiting and a respiratory infection.

The child later was moved to All Children's Hospital and died Saturday.

Health officials would not specify the child's age or gender to avoid accidentally giving away his or her identity, Fulton-Jones said.

Health officials don't know of any underlying health condition that might have made the child more susceptible to flu.

Each year, flu kills about 36,000 Americans. There have been reports this year of flu striking children more severely than normal, but scientists have debated whether such cases are a result of more severe cases or increased reporting.

_ Staff, wire reports

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