State's first child flu death of season reported in Chicago, city health officials say

The season’s first pediatric flu-related death in Illinois has been reported in Chicago.

The Chicago Department of Public Health announced the death Thursday but declined to provide additional details, including the age or date of death, citing patient privacy.

The health agency said flu activity is currently at its peak.

“Nationally, this flu season has resulted in a higher number of pediatric deaths earlier in the season compared to previous years and children continue to be at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications,” the health department said in the statement.

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The health agency used the announcement to urge parents to vaccinate themselves to protect their children.

“The single best way to protect yourself and your family against the flu is to get vaccinated,” CDPH Acting Commissioner Allison Arwady said in the statement.

Flu shots are recommended for anyone 6 months old and over.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that so far this season there have been at least 6.4 million flu illnesses, 55,000 hospitalizations and 2,900 deaths from flu nationally, the health department said.