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Maricopa County reports first Arizona pediatric flu death of 2016

PHOENIX — A child has died of the flu in Maricopa County, the first pediatric flu-related death in Arizona of the 2015-2016 season, officials said Friday.

The school-aged girl, who will not be identified, was diagnosed with the H1N1 strain of influenza A. She was not vaccinated.

“This is a very sad reminder how serious the flu can be, and why we all need to make sure we are vaccinated,” Dr. Bob England, director of the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, said in a release.

“What protects us, our children and our loved ones, is not just the flu vaccine that we receive but the vaccinations of everyone around us,” he continued. “The more people who get vaccinated from the flu, the less chance they have of spreading it to others.”

England said this year’s vaccine targets the H1N1 strain, among several others.

“The good news is that this year’s flu vaccine appears to be a good match and includes protection against the H1N1 strain,” he said.

“The bad news is we still have lots of unvaccinated people out there who are putting themselves and others at risk, especially those who are more susceptible to severe illness and complications from flu like kids and seniors.”

Earlier this year, health officials said the flu is considered widespread in Arizona.

Las year, one child died of the flu in Maricopa County.

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