Florida's first reported flu death of the season is a child

Much of the funding and research on the flu is focused on developing a universal vaccine that would target parts of the virus that can't mutate. But real progress on that front is up to 10 years away, doctors and researchers say. [Associated Press (2015)]
Much of the funding and research on the flu is focused on developing a universal vaccine that would target parts of the virus that can't mutate. But real progress on that front is up to 10 years away, doctors and researchers say. [Associated Press (2015)]
Published October 13
Updated October 15

Florida has seen its first reported flu death of the 2018-'19 season.

An unnamed child who tested positive for influenza B died between Sept. 30 and Oct. 6, the Florida Department of Health’s Bureau of Epidemiology announced in a report about the first week of flu season.

Read the report, "Florida Flu Review," here.

The report noted that the child who died was unvaccinated, but the department did not specify where the death occurred. Before contracting the flu, the child was otherwise healthy, the report said.

A spokesman for the Department of Health's Tallahassee office said in a statement that he could not release any more information about the child who died.

Hillsborough County suffered the state’s only two flu or flu-like outbreaks during the first week of the season, the report said. One outbreak was an unspecified strain of influenza and group A streptococcus — also known as strep throat. The other was an unspecified flu-like disease. Both outbreaks hit schools.

The state defines an "outbreak" in a school as "three or more epidemiologically linked cases" of flu or a flu-like disease.

Neither outbreak caused the reported death, Kevin Watler, the spokesman for the Department of Health's Hillsborough County office, confirmed.

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