Children dying from the flu - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

12.11.03

Children dying from the flu

Hospitals are taking new safety steps to stop the spread of the flu, such as having patients wear masks to reduce the spread of germs.

Doctors are also warning parents that the flu can kill children. They ask that parents do not bring their children to the hospital when visiting patients. Children are very susceptible to carrying the flu, making it very dangerous for people who are already sick.

It is still almost impossible to get the flu vaccine, and medical officials are asking people to use other precautionary measures.

Along with taking new precautions , Doctors are also warning parents of the risk to small children, one day after state officials announced the first death of a child this flu season.

The first young fatality of this flu season is a six-year-old Montgomery County boy who did not appear to have any chronic health conditions that would have put him at risk of complications, proving every child is at risk.

Wilmington Family Doctor Jessica Burkett says the flu can mean more than a few days out of school - it can be deadly.  She says asthma or other pre-existing conditions can make the flu even worse for children.

If a child is dehydrated, and will not eat or play, Doctor Burkett says you should have them checked out by your family physician.

Federal Health Experts have added North Carolina to the fast growing list of states reporting widespread flu activity.

Reported by Nicole Konkal: nkonkal@wect.com

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