Haverhill 1st grader Massachusetts first child flu death of season

BOSTON (AP/WPRI) — Massachusetts health officials say a child under 10 years old has died from the flu — the first pediatric influenza death in the state this year.

The Department of Public Health announced Tuesday that it confirmed the child from Essex County died as a result of the flu. The agency did not release any other information about the child.

However, WBZ – our CBS affiliate in Boston – reports the child was a 6-year-old girl from Haverhill.

The station reported that the girl was a first-grader at Golden Hill Elementary School and that she died Tuesday at Holy Family Hospital.

The superintendent of schools told WBZ school facilities would be scrubbed as a precaution.

According to the Boston Herald, Grief counselors were made available for students and parents to speak with

Officials say there were two flu-related child deaths in the state last flu season.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported 63 flu-related child deaths in the U.S. this season.

The Public Health Department says 250 to 1,100 Massachusetts residents die annually from flu-related complications. Officials say most flu cases are not reported, but there have been more than 8,100 confirmed cases in the state this season.