MADISON, Wis. - The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) confirmed on Thursday, March 17 the deaths of three children under the age of 18 due to complications from influenza.
These are the first reported pediatric influenza-associated deaths in Wisconsin for the 2021-2022 season.
State Health Officer Paula Tran issued the following statement in a news release:
"DHS is deeply saddened to report these flu deaths in Wisconsin this influenza season. It is important to remember that along with COVID-19, other communicable diseases such as flu are circulating in our communities. Each of these alone can pose serious health risks for children, and co-infection can occur. It is not too late for Wisconsinites to get vaccinated to protect themselves and others."
With the number of flu cases and hospital admissions rising throughout the state, a news release says DHS encourages Wisconsinites to get vaccinated. The flu vaccine is the best way to prevent severe illness associated with the influenza virus.
Everyone over 6 months of age is recommended to get the flu vaccine. Specifically, it is highly recommended for people who are at greater risk of becoming seriously ill, such as those who are pregnant, over age 65, and those with chronic health conditions. DHS recommends Wisconsinites talk with a health care provider if they have questions about the flu or getting vaccinated. It is never too late to get a flu shot.