The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday reported the first flu-related death of a child this season.

The child, who was under the age of 5, lived in York County but was not identified by the agency.

“We express our deep condolences to the family for their loss,” Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said in a news release. The CDC said the child had not been vaccinated against the flu.

As of Wednesday, the CDC had recorded 19 adult deaths in Maine that were at least partially attributable to the flu this season. Flu season typically runs from late September to May.

During the 2018-19 flu season, there were 48 deaths recorded, only one of them a child. That death, in April, was the first pediatric flu death in Maine in three years and also involved an unvaccinated child.

On Tuesday, the CDC reported nearly 1,000 new cases of the flu in Maine for the second consecutive week. Those numbers were ahead of the previous year, but experts say it’s difficult to compare in the middle of a season because each often has many peaks and valleys.


During the previous three weeks, the Maine CDC reported 866 new cases in the week ending Feb. 1, 685 new cases for the week ending Jan. 25 and 585 new flu cases the week ending Jan. 18.

The strains of flu circulating in Maine are split almost evenly between influenza A (H1N1) and influenza B (Victoria), the Maine CDC said.

Flu symptoms include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, muscle and body aches, and fatigue. It can be serious or fatal, especially in young children or elderly individuals who have other health conditions. Pregnant women also are at high risk.

The CDC cautioned parents to seek immediate medical care if a child experiences any of these symptoms: Difficulty or changes in breathing, bluish lips or face, chest pain, dehydration (no urine for 8 hours), dry mouth, no tears when crying, not alert or interacting when awake, seizures, a fever above 104°F, fever or cough that improve but then return or worsen, and worsening of chronic medical conditions.

The best way for people to protect themselves from influenza is to wash hands, cover their coughs and sneezes, stay home if sick and get vaccinated.

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