An 8-year-old girl from Queens died Monday morning, the day after she was diagnosed with influenza during New York’s worst flu season in more than 10 years, authorities said.
The unidentified child, who lived in Corona and was prescribed Tamiflu to treat her flu symptoms on Sunday, stopped breathing in her home around 6:35 a.m., the New York Post reported.
Her father tried to revive her until EMS staff arrived to take over, but the child was pronounced dead after being taken to Elmhurst Hospital. The city's health department did confirm that her death was flu-related, NY1 reported Tuesday.
In the past week, New York state saw a 50 percent increase in confirmed flu cases and a 21 percent rise in hospitalizations over the prior week, according to a statement from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
There were 11,683 new flu cases and 2,221 people hospitalized as confirmed cases, exceeding the record set the week before, giving the highest weekly statistics since tracking began in 2004.
“Flu season is in full-swing, and as the number of influenza cases and hospitalizations continues to rise at alarming levels, we must take every action to protect ourselves and our loved ones,” Gov. Cuomo said. “I am urging everyone to get vaccinated and take other necessary steps to stop the spread of this virus in New York.”
To that end, the governor issued an executive order to enable pharmacists to give flu vaccines to children aged 2 to 18, suspending a state law that previously limited their authority to give vaccines to that age group. Children between 6 and 24 months should see their primary care physician for preventative treatment.
To find where you can get a flu vaccine, visit vaccinefinder.org.