LOCAL NEWS

King County has first pediatric flu death in three years

Nov 23, 2022, 2:05 PM
Pediatric flu...
(Photo By Joaquin Corchero/Europa Press via Getty Images)
(Photo By Joaquin Corchero/Europa Press via Getty Images)

A child in King County has died from the flu for the first time since the 2019-2020 flu season.

The elementary school-aged child’s death is also the county’s first known overall flu death in a flu season that has taken off with an early and turbulent start.

“Since October, we have seen early and rapidly increasing flu activity locally compared to past seasons,” said Dr. Eric Chow, chief of Public Health – Seattle and King County’s Communicable Disease and Epidemiology Division, during a briefing.

Flu season wreaking havoc on kids in Washington state

Along with COVID and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), cases of the flu are filling up emergency rooms, especially when it comes to kids.

“This death comes at a time of a steep rise in respiratory viral infections, particularly among children, leading to increased emergency department visits and hospitalizations,” Chow said.

He compared the situation at pediatric hospitals to high points in the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that “it is likely that these trends will continue in the coming weeks and will continue to add to the burden faced by our health care system.”

More from Nicole Jennings: Bivalent booster protects against omicron mutations ahead of winter

Most of the time, children recover at home from these respiratory illnesses and do not require hospitalization. If your child has one of these milder cases, health officials ask you not to visit the ER to save limited resources for those children with severe cases.

“[Hospitals] are a last line of defense. They have to be there to take care of people, regardless of their capacity,” Chow said. “And whatever we can do to take steps as a community to mitigate that, I think we should all be employing.”

If you are not sure if your child’s symptoms are serious enough to warrant an ER visit, Chow suggests a call or telehealth visit to their primary care physician. Symptoms to watch out for include a fever that lasts more than a few days or a fever in a baby under three months old, extreme lethargy, difficulty breathing, and dehydration.

Follow Nicole Jennings on Twitter or email her here

Local News

arrest...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Man arrested after driving through barricades of Santa parade in Tacoma

A man was arrested Sunday afternoon after driving through barricades during a Santa parade in Tacoma, the Tacoma Police Department announced.
12 hours ago
REAL ID airport...
Bill Kaczaraba

REAL ID delayed in WA state, across the nation

The Department of Homeland Security announced Monday that it is delaying the REAL ID enforcement to May 7, 2025.
12 hours ago
light rail...
L.B. Gilbert

Councilmember calls for light rail ‘starter line’ from Bellevue to Redmond

Sound Transit is exploring starting light rail service on the Eastside despite delays in construction connecting to the main line.
12 hours ago
social workers...
Bill Kaczaraba

Everett developing alternative 911 responses by using more social workers

The city of Everett is developing ways to deal with 911 calls by sending social workers as first responders involving mental health issues.
12 hours ago
monorail...
L.B. Gilbert

5 rescued by Seattle firefighters from monorail after power outage

The Seattle Fire Department (SFD) responded to the monorail losing power Monday morning, trapping several riders inside.
12 hours ago
dead...
L.B. Gilbert

Dead woman found in Thurston County apartment, boyfriend in custody

The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a homicide in Lacey Monday morning after finding a woman dead in an apartment.
12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
King County has first pediatric flu death in three years