A young child from Aurora, Illinois, would have become the first infant flu death in the state this season.
Kane County Coroner Rob Russell told The Beacon News that the child, who was not identified, died on Dec. 21 at Rush Copley Medical Center.
The child was apparently a "healthy little girl", he told the publication, but she caught the flu and did not improve with the rest at home.
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Finally, her parents took her to the emergency room. She would have "lost consciousness" by eating ice cream in the hospital, he said.
It's unclear whether she received the flu shot, but Russell told The Beacon News she's up-to-date on vaccination. He was not able to find a pre-existing health problem that could be associated with his death.
The Kane County Health Department also reported a flu-related pediatric death in its influenza surveillance report for week 51 of 2018.
"We are at the point of the season when the flu starts to increase and every year, frankly, it's an epidemic."
– Tom Schlueter
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all children under five be vaccinated against influenza because they have a "high risk of influenza-related complications." Children ages six months to five, even if they are in good health "are at risk simply because of their age," the CDC said.
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"Whenever a child dies, it is extremely tragic," said Tom Beacon News, a spokesman for the Kane County Health Department. "We are at the point of the season when the flu starts to increase and every year, frankly, it's an epidemic."
The death of the girl is one of 13 child childhood flu deaths in the United States during the 2018-2019 season, reported The Beacon News.
A spokesman for the Kane County Coroner's Office did not immediately respond to Fox News's request on Friday.