CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Department of Public Health (CDPH) has announced its first influenza-associated pediatric death of the 2022-23 flu season. According to a release, the 19-month-old child who passed away was hospitalized at the time of her death.
The death marks Cuyahoga County’s second pediatric flu-associated death of the season after a 13-year-old boy passed away in November.
“The news of any death in our community is devastating; however, we recognize the poignancy of the loss of a child, especially from flu,” Brian Kimball, CDPH Assistant Director, said in a release. “We urge everyone six months and older to get vaccinated against the flu now, if you have yet to do so this season.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), available flu vaccines appear to be "a very good match" for the current strains of flu circulating and provide "superb protection against serious illness and hospitalization from the flu."
CDPH also advises taking the following precautions during the current period of high activity for COVID-19, flu, and RSV:
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Avoid close contact with those who are sick.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth after touching objects – this is how germs are spread.
• Practice good habits like disinfecting surfaces, getting plenty of sleep, and managing stress.
CDPH is also offering flu and COVID-19 vaccines at two City of Cleveland health centers on the following dates. Walk-ins are welcome and optional pre-registration available for COVID-19 vaccination can be made at 216-664-2222 or gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov. Individuals under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
• J. Glen Smith Health Center, 11100 St. Clair Ave – ages 12 and up, Wednesdays & Thursdays – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; 6 months - 11 years old Thursdays only.
• McCafferty Health Center, 4242 Lorain Ave – ages 12 and up, Mondays & Wednesdays – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; 6 months - 11 years old Mondays only.