ELLSWORTH — A Washington County child has died in what the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said is an “influenza-associated” death, according to a press release on Monday.
The child was unvaccinated and tested positive for influenza A, according to the CDC. It was the first influenza-associated pediatric death in three years in the state. Pediatric cases include those under the age of 18.
“Our hearts go out to the family and community affected by this tragedy,” said Acting Maine CDC Director Nancy Beardsley in a statement.
“Maine CDC wants to ensure that Mainers know the steps they can take to protect themselves and their loved ones, starting with vaccination. Influenza vaccine is still widely available, and it is not too late to get vaccinated.”
A total of four influenza-related deaths were reported last week, bringing the season’s total to 39, according to the CDC.
Nationwide, 82 influenza-related pediatric deaths have been reported this season, according to the federal CDC, compared to 186 last year and 110 in 2016-2017.
Maine provides free flu vaccination for those under the age of 19 and recommends vaccination for all residents over the age of 6 months.