Haverhill first-grader is state’s 1st confirmed pediatric flu death

HAVERHILL, Mass. (WHDH) – Health officials confirmed that a Haverhill girl’s death is the first “influenza-associated” pediatric death in Massachusetts this year.

“This is a tragic reminder of how serious the flu can be for some people,” said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel. “Every flu season is different, but every flu season is bad. This one arrived early and continues to spread, leading many people throughout the Commonwealth to get sick.”

Faculty and parents of students at the Golden Hill Elementary School were notified this week about the girl’s death. Superintendent James F. Scully said city schools are thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing classrooms in wake of the news. Scully asked the community to keep the young girl and her family in their thoughts and prayers.

Health officials are urging everyone to get the flu vaccination. Those with flu-like symptoms should remain at home until 24 hours have passed without a fever.

An estimated 250-1,100 Massachusetts residents die annually from flu complications.

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