Infant Dies from Flu-Related Complications

Lehigh Valley Hospital spokesman Brian Downs confirms that an infant died from flu-related complications over the weekend.


An infant died from flu-related complications over the weekend at Lehigh Valley Hospital, LVH spokesman Brian Downs confirmed Wednesday.

He could not provide further information, citing confidentiality.

The infant's death would not have been included in statewide statistics released Tuesday that put the number of influenza-related deaths at 22 this season through Jan. 5, including 18 deaths last week. The state Health Department, on its website, said in that report that no pediatric flu-related deaths had yet been reported and that most of the deaths were among those 65 and older.

This season's surge in flu cases prompted Lehigh Valley Hospital in Salisbury Township to set up a mobile tent this week outside its Emergency Room to handle patients with flu-like symptoms.

Tuesday's statistics from the state Department of Health put the number of confirmed flu cases in the Lehigh Valley at 1,205 through Jan. 5, and in Pennsylvania, at 11,327. 

The flu does not peak until mid-January or February, so it is not too late to get a flu shot. You can type your zip code into the Flu Finder site to find a place near you to get a flu shot.

State health officials say lab-confirmed flu cases represent only a fraction of those with the flu, since most people -- including those who seek health care -- are diagnosed on the presumption they have the flu without lab tests being performed.

Influenza—more commonly known as "the flu"—is a contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses infecting the nose, throat and lungs. It spreads via infected people coughing, sneezing or talking, though people can also get infected by touching something with the flu virus on it before touching their mouth, eyes or nose.

liz crawford January 10, 2013 at 01:49 AM
if a child had a flu shot and has a 1 week old sibling should we be concerned/
liz crawford January 10, 2013 at 01:51 AM
if a younger child in the family had a flu shot 2 months ago should parents be concerned about a one week old baby and the flu
liz crawford January 10, 2013 at 01:51 AM
please respond
Mom of DnNnD January 10, 2013 at 02:27 AM
Who are you looking for a response from? Call your pediatrician in the morning to get the facts. Please don't take the word of strangers posting info on the internet, get the information straight from a doctor.
RN January 10, 2013 at 02:58 AM
I agree with Mom of DnNnD....call your ped....however, the best way to protect your 1week old is to make sure everyone who is in contact with the baby has had a flu shot.
linen23 January 10, 2013 at 03:31 AM
Thank you, Mom of DnNnd.
linen23 January 10, 2013 at 03:47 AM
Liz, perhaps you do not have insurance. None of my business but, if not, please reach out to a medical professional. There are programs available to assist in your child's care. Looking for medical guidance in this forum is not appropriate.
Rich Cranium January 10, 2013 at 03:55 AM
My understanding is that the flu shots given this year did not cover for the flu strain that is going around big right now. There are hundreds of strains of the flu and the vaccinations protect against the ones that the CDC thinks is most likely to catch on in a flu season. Even if they pick the right strains the shot is only 40-60% effective. I still think that in general it is a good idea to get one, but it likely won't help you out this year. What you should do is not rely on the flu shot and take the necessary precautions with your child. Like: wash your hands, make sure everyone that comes in contact with your child is not experiencing symptoms, make sure that people sanitize or wash their hands before they hold or interact with your child, and sanitize surfaces such as door knobs, counter tops, and utensils. Modern medicine is not a replacement for common sense.
linen23 January 10, 2013 at 04:34 AM
Liz, perhaps you don't have insurance. None of my business but, if not, please reach out to a medical professional. There are programs to assist in the medical care of your child. Either way, seeking medical guidance in this forum is inappropriate.
RN January 10, 2013 at 02:15 PM
The flu shot is actually 80% effective and even getting the shot this late in the season is still a good idea. Even if you were to get the fly after having the vaccines, the vaccines should help lessen the severity of the flu. And yes, of course practicing healthy sanitation precautions is always a good idea. Hand washing, sanitizing and such. However, the question is how to protect a newborn who can't get vaccinated and the safest way to protect the child is to ensure everyone in contact with the child is vaccinated.
Rose Ann Reiss January 10, 2013 at 02:54 PM
Better yet, a 1 week old baby should not even be in much contact with anyone but family members for at least a month or two.
Parkland Parent January 10, 2013 at 10:08 PM
Anyone who has children need to ensure they have recieved the flu shot (good for less time then the flu mist for which is good for up to a year) Flu shot is a dead virus where the mist is a live virus. Children can get the mist when they are at a certain age. Any parent who does not get vaccinated is a complete knucklehead. Simple thing folks, protect your kids and yourself and call your pediatrician. Maybe parents will also keep kids at home who are sick instead of worrying about your job and infecting others.
tamarya January 21, 2013 at 04:23 PM
Did you also get a flu shot liz, as long as all in the household are vaccinated and you are keeping the baby out of public places she or he should be fine.
tamarya January 21, 2013 at 04:24 PM
However if your child was only vaccinated and you get the flu the baby could still get it.
tamarya January 21, 2013 at 04:26 PM
I agree mom of DnNnd that is just info that I received from pediatrician at time my kids were born, however that was 8 1/2 yrs ago the last was born and I know things change daily lol. My daughter also had health issues so I am sure it was different for me than if she has a healthy baby.


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