Health officials say at least 2 Idaho kids have died from flu

Idaho state health officials say at least two children have died of influenza-related causes recently, and a third child’s death is under investigation because it appears to be flu-related.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare say the deaths – in northern and eastern Idaho – are unusual because most influenza-related fatalities occur among older adults.

The department’s Division of PublicHealth says the flu strain appears to be impacting some children in Idaho heavily, as influenza illness has been increasing in Idaho and nationwide.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also seen more reported pediatric flu deaths than usual this time of year. As of Jan. 4, 32 children have died from the flu nationwide this season.

Washington officials have reported 19 flu-related deaths in the Evergreen State this season, including two children.

Health officials say the best way to protect from the flu is to get an annual flu vaccine. People who are sick with flu-like symptoms -which can include coughing, fever, sore throat, headache, fatigue,and a runny or stuffy nose – should seek medical attention.  Some people, especially kids, may also experience diarrhea and vomiting with influenza.  (AP)