So far, 15 people over the age of 65 died of the flu. But, last week, a 10-year-old boy succumbed to the illness and became the state’s first child death.
CT Post reports that the town of New Canaan mourns the unexpected passing of 10-year-old Nico Mallozzi. Mallozzi played in the RoughRiders ice hockey time and reportedly fell ill during an out of state tournament. He went home but his parents later rushed him to the hospital when things took a turn.
Unfortunately, he succumbed to complications related to the virus. His 12-year-old brother, Joey, also suffers from the same illness and is in the hospital.
This year’s flu season is one of the most devastating on record. However, this particular death hits everyone hard because of Mallozzi’s age. It’s uncommon for a child over the age of 5 to die from the flu.
Kids under 5 and adults over 65 own the monopoly of flu-related deaths. That’s why doctors find this latest death so alarming.
So far this season, nearly 500 people sought treatment at hospitals for the flu. At this time last year, the number was 270. In both cases, most patients are 65 and over. None of which are a child.
Doctors say this is the worst flu season since the 2009 swine flu outbreak. The state recorded an increase in pneumonia cases related to the flu.
The flu is the leading cause of pneumonia in children, the elderly, those with chronic medical conditions, and pregnant women. In addition, pneumonia tends to be more severe in flu cases.
That’s what took Mallozzi’s life. The flu-related pneumonia led to sepsis, which ultimately killed him.
Doctors urge the public to take advantage of flu shot clinics. If you live in Hartford, Fairfield, or New Haven County, you live in the highest concentration of flu cases in the state.
New Canaan Director of Health David Reed had this warning:
“This has been one of the worst flu seasons and I think it will continue until March. If you’re not vaccinated, get vaccinated now.”
Doctors especially recommend children and seniors to get a flu shot before the season reaches its peak. The peak normally takes place between the 4th and 13th week of the year.
Experts also recommend those who feel under the weather to stay home to prevent the spread of germs.