BOSTON (CBS) — Two Massachusetts children have died from flu-related illnesses in just one week, already doubling last year’s number. The Department of Public Health confirms a 12-year-old Milford boy and a young girl from Middlesex County both died this week.
The death of the Milford boy was announced Thursday.
The boy’s mother told WBZ-TV he got his flu shot this year, but still got sick. He stayed home from school for multiple days until he developed a bacterial infection and was rushed to the emergency room Wednesday night, where he died.
WBZ-TV’s Dr. Mallika Marshall said, “one of the most dangerous complications of the flu is bacterial pneumonia and that is what sometimes ends up landing people in the hospital and can be deadly.”
The two cases appear to be unrelated “and were confirmed by the DPH’s State Public Health Laboratory,” said the DPH.
For more information about the flu, visit CDC’s website.
An estimated 250 to 1,100 Massachusetts residents die from flu complications annually, according to DPH. Last year, one child died from a flu-related illness in Massachusetts.
The DPH still says this year’s flu vaccine is highly effective and says the public should get vaccinated.
Edit: An earlier version of this story initially reported the age of the girl who died from the flu-related illness, as well as the town she may be from.