An 8-year-old Queens girl who died as a result of the flu on Monday was the second pediatric flu-related death this season, a city health department official said.
The girl, who was not immediately identified by city officials, was diagnosed with the flu at a hospital on Friday, according to police. Her mother called 911 around 5:35 a.m. Monday after she tried to wake the girl up inside their home in the LeFrak City Apartments on 57th Avenue and she was unresponsive, cops said.
Emergency medical personnel performed CPR on the girl and rushed her to NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst — Queens, where she was pronounced dead, according to the NYPD. It was not immediately clear if the girl had any pre-existing health conditions that may have contributed to her death.
A child also died of the flu in New York City in January, according to a city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene spokesman, but further information about the case was not made available.
“The tragic death of a child due to the flu is a reminder of the devastating effects this illness can have on people of all ages. The influenza season is far from over, and it is not too late to get the flu shot,” city health department spokesman Julien Martinez said. “We urge parents to protect themselves and their families by getting this potentially lifesaving vaccine today.”
During the 2016-2017 flu season, there were eight pediatric deaths in New York, six of which occurred in the city, according to officials.
A spokeswoman with the state Department of Health said the agency was in close communication with the city health department, which is the lead agency for pediatric flu deaths that occur in the city.
At least 13,200 flu cases have been confirmed in New York City since the start of the season, per the state health department. Across the entire state, there are at least 36,814 laboratory confirmed cases and 9,377 hospitalizations.
City and state health officials are urging New Yorkers to get the flu vaccine, as the state saw record-high new cases of laboratory confirmed influenza in the week ending on Jan. 27. The state health department recorded 11,683 new cases and 2,221 hospitalizations during that week.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo also issued a state of emergency earlier in January that allows pharmacists to administer flu shots to minors between 2 and 18 years old in order to increase the accessibility of the vaccine for parents and guardians.
With Nicole Brown