Two children die of flu in B.C. in two weeks, province warns

Two children die of flu in B.C. in two weeks, province warns
A sick child is pictured in this file photo.

The BC Centre for Disease Control is encouraging people to be cautious this flu season, after two children died of influenza-related illnesses in a short period of time.

In a release Friday, the BCCDC said two people under the age of 19 died within the past two weeks of influenza-related illnesses.

The province adds that they are the only two deaths in children related to the flu that the BCCDC has recorded this flu season.

The BCCDC further notes that both children has secondary bacterial infections that contributed to their severe illness.

“Our thoughts are with the families and communities affected by the loss of a loved one,” said the BCCDC on Friday.

When asked if either child died in the Island Health region, the BCCDC said it was unable to specify where the deaths occurred for privacy reasons.

Prevention tips

The BCCDC says one of the best ways to protect yourself from the flu is to get a flu shot.

“This year’s influenza vaccine appears to be well matched to the influenza viruses circulating in B.C.,” said the centre.

It adds that staying home if you’re feeling sick, washing your hands regularly, avoiding touching your face, eyes, mouth and nose regularly and wearing a mask in indoor public spaces can also help protect you from respiratory infections.

Children with chronic medical conditions, as well as infants and toddlers, should also be particularly careful during the flu season.

Most children will be able to recover from the flu at home, but parents can also ask a health worker for an anti-viral drug called Tamiflu if their child is at severe risk of complications.

If you child is under three months old and has difficulty breathing or runs a fever, the BCCDC recommends seeking medical care immediately.

Last week, the BCCDC also warned of a rise in strep infections among people under the age of 20.

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