Minnesota health officials have confirmed the first death of a child this season due to the flu — although they aren’t releasing the child’s age or *where* in the state the death occurred. State Health Department senior epidemiologist Karen Martin says, “This child had the same strain of flu that thousands of other people had in Minnesota, and unfortunately had a very severe complication.” Last season, five children died in Minnesota from flu-related complications, during what officials termed a severe outbreak.
Martin says 2018-19 has been somewhat milder than last season, which was a severe flu outbreak. She says, “Certainly is milder, but even so we [are] still seeing over 22-hundred hospitalizations, we’ve seen 69 adult deaths so far this season, and of course our first pediatric-associated death.”
Martin says it’s difficult to predict whether the return of cold weather will trigger another uptick in flu cases. “I’m really hoping that this downward trend is gonna continue, regardless of what the weather is gonna do in the next few weeks,” she says.