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Health Dept. Announces First Two Flu Deaths of the Season

Two men have died from the flu this season.

Courtesty: Department of Health.
Courtesty: Department of Health.
The influenza has now claimed two lives in Rhode Island this season, reports the Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH). 

The first victim, a man in his 50s who suffered from underlying medical conditions, died on Jan. 1. The second was a man in his 80s, also with other medical conditions, who passed away on Jan. 25.

The reports of their deaths was delayed as the Department of Health awaited tests to confirm that the flu was their cause of death.

“This is a very sad reminder that influenza is a serious illness,” said Director of Health Michael Fine, M.D. “Everyone older than six months of age should be vaccinated against the flu every year. Influenza typically remains in Rhode Island until April. If you have not yet been vaccinated this year, it’s not too late. When you get vaccinated, you are not just protecting yourself. You are also protecting the people you love.”

The 2013-2014 flu season is the first that information about adult flu-related deaths is being reported to the Department of Health. It is now required that this information is reported to all licensed healthcare providers and facilities in the state. 

There is still plenty of flu vaccine throughout Rhode Island. Adults can be vaccinated at doctors’ offices or at pharmacies. Children can be vaccinated at doctors’ offices.
 
To date, there have been 129 flu-related hospitalizations in Rhode Island.

Click here for more information on the flu and vaccines.

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