First pediatric flu death of 2022 recorded in Ohio

An 8-month-old boy from Ashland County is the first pediatric flu death of the season, the Ohio Department of Health reported Friday.

Following an unusually slow season that saw only 108 hospitalizations statewide in 2020-2021, Ohio has reported 972 flu-associated hospitalizations so far this season. At this point during the 2019-2020 flu season for example, the state saw 10,540 hospitalizations related to the flu. Abnormally low numbers from 2020-2021 were a product of COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing efforts, experts say.

The flu typically peaks between December and February, but can still linger during April and May. Physicians monitor pediatric deaths from the flu becaue young children (5 and under) are at a higher risk of developing serious flu-related complications than other age groups. An average of 125 children die from the flu each year in the United States. In 2020, only one death was reported.

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