BOSTON (WGGB/WSHM) -- State officials have announced the first pediatric flu-related death in the state for this season.

The Mass. Department of Public health said the teenager from Worcester County tested positive for Influenza B.

"I feel immense sorrow for the family of this child. This is a tragic reminder of how serious the flu can be for both children and adults...Every flu season is different, but January and February are typically the height of flu season. We want people to know that it’s not too late to get a flu shot," said Public Health Commissioner Dr. Monica Bharel in a statement.

Last flu season, four confirmed pediatric flu-related deaths were reported in Massachusetts.

This season, between 2,000 and 3,000 Massachusetts residents have been hospitalized with the flu.  In addition, there have also been 15,000 to 20,000 emergency room visits.

As of January 11, the CDC reported 39 influenza-related pediatric deaths this flu season.

In a statement, the DPH continued to encourage those who have not received a flu shot to get vaccinated and noted that there is no shortage of vaccine.

Symptoms of the flu, which can last from a few days to up to a week, can include

  • Fever Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Runny nose
  • Feeling very tired

For some people, especially young children, can also experience diarrhea and vomiting.

"People who think they may have the flu should call their healthcare provider for guidance and possible treatment," Mass. DPH said in a statement.

Western Mass News will continue to follow this story and will have more information as it becomes available.

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