1st flu-related child death reported in New Jersey

TRENTON, N.J. — State health officials have confirmed the first death of a New Jersey child associated with the flu this season.

The state Department of Health announced Tuesday the child from central New Jersey died in late December.

The department did not release additional information about the child, citing privacy concerns.

Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal says he is “deeply saddened” for the family, who experienced an “unthinkable loss.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 80,000 people died nationally, including 180 children, during last year’s flu season.

This year’s flu season began in late October and is expected to last through March.

Officials urge residents to get flu shots and stay home if sick.

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