Minnesota confirms first pediatric flu death this year

Minnesota has confirmed the first death of a child from influenza this season.

The Minnesota Department of Health didn't release any more information about the case.

Epidemiologist Karen Martin says flu deaths in children are rare, but they do occur almost every year.

"It does sort of highlight that fact that, even in what's normally is a mild season, flu can still be quite devastating. We certainly want people to take it seriously and do everything they can to protect themselves," she said.

This flu season appears to be mild, Martin said. There have been 539 flu hospitalizations so far, compared to more than 4,100 hospitalizations for all of last year's season.

She says peak flu activity will probably last for a few more weeks, but flu cases can linger into May or June.

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