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Published January 12, 2011, 02:10 PM

Death of North-Central ND Child Linked to Flu

The state Health Department said Wednesday that a child in north central North Dakota died of the flu. The youngster had underlying medical conditions and died while hospitalized.

By: Associated Press, WDAZ

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The state Health Department said Wednesday that a child in north central North Dakota died of the flu.

The youngster had underlying medical conditions and died while hospitalized. Officials said the child tested positive for influenza A and was younger than 10.

State Epidemiologist Tracy Miller said the rare death of a child is a reminder that influenza can be a serious illness. "The death of a child is always sad and unexpected," Miller said. "Even though we rarely see children dying from influenza in North Dakota, this should remind all of us that influenza can be a serious illness and that we should take precautions to prevent the spread of the disease."

The department urged people to get a flu shot and use proper hygiene to prevent spreading the disease. It said 28 of the 80 flu cases reported statewide as of Wednesday were in children younger than 10.

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