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The Ingham County Health Department (ICHD) confirmed Sunday that a child passed away from seasonal influenza in January. State officials came to a conclusion about the child’s death late last week.
The child was the fifth in the state to die from influenza during the 2019-20 flu season. To respect the family’s privacy, the ICHD will not provide any additional information about the child.
“We offer our deepest condolences, but know there are no words that can lessen this family’s grief and our community’s loss,” said Ingham County Health Officer Linda S. Vail.
The United States reported 168 pediatric flu-related deaths during the 2019-20 flu season, the highest toll in more than a decade. However, the ICHD says influenza activity has slowed dramatically since the COVID-19 social distancing measures took effect.
“We hope that the changes in habits surrounding COVID-19 will have an impact on future flu seasons,” said Vail. “Many of these deaths are preventable, and many of the measures being emphasized to protect ourselves from COVID-19 are the very precautions we urge people to take every flu season.”