Health officials from Arkansas confirmed that the state experienced the first pediatric death caused by flu earlier this week.
The unidentified child may have been either a new born or up to four years old according to the Arkansas Department of Health. Details like the county where the child lived, if the child received the flu vaccine and the exact sex are also unknown.
Official statistics note that this is the sixth death caused by the flu during this season in Arkansas. The current flu season seems to be on par with the one from last year when over 80,000 people died after contacting the viral infection. Information released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that the 2017-2018 flu season killed the highest number of people since the flu epidemics of the 1970’s.
In most cases patients that have flu will feature several of the following symptoms: high fever, a sore throat that causes difficulties when the patient tries to swallow, severe muscle and body aches, painful headaches and generalized fatigue. Some patients can also suffer from vomiting and diarrhea.
In rare cases patients may exhibit unusual symptoms. Earlier in December the mother of a child from Nebraska was puzzled when the boy developed an unexpected rash. Since she was a registered nurse the mother attempted a variety of treatments but the rash proved to be resilient. When she finally decided to take the boy to the doctor both she and the physician were surprised when the results arrived. The boy tested positive for influenza but none of the usual symptoms were present.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention offers several flu guidelines that can be consulted on the internet. Patients can find a selection of relevant information, including treatment advice and a guide that will help them to protect others from the flu.
It is also advised to get the flu shot since it should be effective even now.