(EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated to correct the designation of the area where the death occurred.)
Health officials in Virginia on Wednesday reported the commonwealth’s first pediatric flu death of the 2021-2022 season.
The Virginia Department of Health said in a statement that a 5-year-old in the Central Virginia Health Planning Region has died from complications associated with influenza.
The Central planning region is roughly bordered by Buckingham, covers Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford and Campbell counties, as well as the city of Lynchburg.
“This tragic death reminds us that flu can be a very serious disease, especially in the very young, the elderly, and those with chronic medical problems,” State Health Commissioner Dr. Colin M. Greene said in the statement.
“While we can never stop all cases of flu, the best way to reduce your risk, for people over 6 months of age, is to receive the flu vaccine, an updated version of which should come available in the next 60 days.”
The department said an average of three flu-related pediatric deaths are reported each year in Virginia.