Death of Rocky River girl marks third child flu-related death in two weeks

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – A 6-year-old girl from Rocky River died after developing complications from the flu.

WJW Fox 8 reports the girl died from a rare and severe form of a neurological disease stemming from complications of the flu virus.

According to the Ohio Department of Health, the child’s death marks the third pediatric death connected to the flu virus in two weeks.

A 6-year-old boy from Columbiana County and a 7-year-old girl in Fulton County died from complications of the flu.

During last year’s flu season, there was 1 flu-associated pediatric death, and 6 two years ago.

“Influenza vaccination is the safest and most effective way to prevent the flu, except for infants younger than 6-month old who aren’t eligible to receive it,” said Sietske de Fijter, chief of the Bureau of Infectious Diseases and state epidemiologist for the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). “There are no flu vaccine shortages across Ohio and it is available at most healthcare providers’ offices, local health departments and retail pharmacies.”

There were been 396 new confirmed cases of the flu this week, compared to 395 last week.

There have been 2,075 total flu-associated hospitalizations since flu season began last October.