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.

Stay up-to-date with the latest news and weather.  Download the Western Mass News App

You can now get the latest Western Mass News headlines on Alexa.  Click here to activate the skill.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Copyright 2019 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.