Child dies from the flu at Ruby Memorial Hospital over the weekend

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WDTV)-- A 5-year-old child died over the weekend at Ruby Memorial Hospital as a result of the flu, West Virginia University Medicine officials said.

Photo courtesy MGN

“We can confirm that a 5-year-old child died over the weekend in our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit as the result of the influenza virus," WVU Medicine pediatric infectious specialist Dr Kathy Moffett said in a statement. "We can also confirm that we have several patients – adults and children – admitted for the flu and related complications."

People experiencing flu-like symptoms like fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headache, and fatigue are encouraged to stay home and not go to work, school or other public places where germs can be spread, Moffett said.

"We also encourage those who have not already received the flu vaccine to do so even if they may have been exposed to the virus," said Moffett. "While they may still get the flu, the vaccine can lessen the severity of the symptoms.”

The last flu associated pediatric death was reported during the 2017-18 season, according to West virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Officials.

DHHR officials say other precautions people can take to protect against the spread of flu and other viruses include staying home when sick until fever-free for at least 24 hours, covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then discarding the tissue promptly and washing hands frequently, preferably with soap and water.