The Kane County Health Department is reporting the first pediatric death of the flu season.
No details about the flu-related pediatric death have been released by the Health Department, but the death occurred in Week 51, the week of Dec. 16 through Dec. 22.
Overall, the numbers of flu cases and flu-related hospital visits are spiking in Kane County, according to the Kane County Health Department’s latest Influenza Surveillance Summary.
The report, released today (Friday, Jan. 4, 2019), is for Week 52 of last year — the period of Dec. 23 through Dec. 29.
As you can see from the chart above, influenza was responsible for 5.4 percent of Kane County hospitals’ emergency room visits.
Additional sobering facts include the following:
- During Week 52, six labs reported that 72 of 615 (11.7%) specimens tested for influenza were positive.
- Of these 72 specimens, 69 (95.8%) were positive for Influenza A and three (4.2%) were positive for Influenza B. No other specimen tested positive for the week ending on Dec. 29, 2018.
- As of the week ending Dec. 29, there were five influenza-related ICU admissions reported to the Health Department.
- One influenza-associated pediatric death has been reported.
- To date, no outbreaks of influenza have been reported in Long-Term Care/Assisted Living facilities in Kane County.
One piece of good news, perhaps, is that Kane County’s public school districts were closed for winter break during Week 52. The influenza report typically lets residents know whether there were any serious outbreaks in schools.
You can access the full report HERE.
Kane County Health Department Executive Director Barbara Jeffers emphasizes that everyone 6 months of age or older should get a flu vaccine every year.
“Flu shots are the best defense in keeping our community healthy during flu season,” she said this week.
For more information, visit the Kane County Health Department flu page HERE.
Here is additional information, courtesy of the Illinois Department of Public Health:
If You Get Sick
Most healthy people recover from the flu without complications. If you get the flu:
- Stay home from work or school.
- Get lots of rest, drink plenty of liquids, and avoid using alcohol and tobacco.
- There are over-the-counter (OTC) medications to relieve the symptoms of the flu (but never give aspirin to children or teenagers who have flu-like symptoms, particularly fever).
- Remember that serious illness from the flu is more likely in certain groups of people including people 65 years of age and older, pregnant women, people with certain chronic medical conditions and young children.
- Consult your doctor early on for the best treatment, but also be aware of emergency warning signs that require urgent medical attention.
Emergency Warning Signs
Seek emergency medical care if you or someone you know is having any of following warning signs discussed below.
In children, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
- Fast breathing or trouble breathing
- Bluish skin color
- Not drinking enough fluids
- Not waking up or not interacting
- Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
- Fever with a rash
In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
- Sudden dizziness
- Severe or persistent vomiting
Seek emergency medical care if you or someone you know is experiencing any of the signs above.