A young child from Aurora, Illinois, became the first child influenza died in the state this season.
Kane County Coroner Rob Russell said The Beacon News that the child, who was not identified, died on December 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.
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 pediatric death related to influenza in their 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
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended All children under the age of five should receive the influenza vaccine because they are at "high risk of flu-related complications". Children six months to five years, even if they are in good health "are at risk simply because of their age," said the CDC.
"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.