Virginia Reports First Pediatric Death Due to Flu This Season

Virginia Department of Health confirms the state’s first pediatric influenza death of the 2021-2022 flu season. 

The child, believed to be between the ages of five and 12, is believed to have resided in the Eastern part of the state, according to a release from the Virginia Department of Public Health. 

According to the release, which is subject to a confidentiality clause, the child passed away as a result of flu complications.

Statement from the State Health Commissioner

Dr. Karen Shelton released a statement following the incident, emphasizing the seriousness of the flu and urging all eligible individuals to get their flu shots. She also stressed the importance of taking collective responsibility during public health emergencies.

The Flu Season’s Impact

Emergency department visits and urgent care visits are on the rise due to the flu, with a high proportion of young children and school-age children affected. The current flu season is expected to be within the normal range of severity. However, it’s important to note that a ‘normal’ flu season can cause a wide range of outcomes, such as illness, hospitalization and death.

Despite the fact that only about 25% of eligible Virginians received the flu shot this season, the Virginia Department of Health is continuing to emphasize the importance of preventing the flu, which includes getting vaccinated. If you would like to learn more about flu shot locations in Virginia, please visit vaccinate. or contact your local health department.

There were five pediatric deaths in Virginia last flu season.