JACKSON, Miss. (WTVA) - Mississippi is reporting its first lab-confirmed case of flu for the 2019-2020 flu season.
According to the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH), the case involved a child under the age of 18.
While flu cases have been diagnosed and treated by healthcare providers throughout Mississippi already this season, this is the first case confirmed in the state’s Public Health Laboratory, detected through the Influenza-Like Illness (ILI) Sentinel Surveillance System.
“While last year’s flu season was not particularly severe, there were still 116 pediatric flu deaths nationwide, including one child here in Mississippi,” said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers. “Nationwide, the 2017-2018 flu season killed 183 children – three of whom were in Mississippi – and an estimated 80,000 adults. Influenza is a serious illness that should not be taken lightly.”
He said flu season can happen as early as November and as late as March in Mississippi but usually peaks from December through February.
According to MSDH, individual flu cases are not reported to the state department, but the agency monitors flu activity through the ILI System, made up of healthcare providers in Mississippi who report the percentage of patients with flu-like systems to a statewide database.
MSDH recommends people get flu shots, especially young children, pregnant women, people over the age of 65 and people with underlying health problems.
Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, body aches and fatigue.