MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Health officials in Alabama are investigating 54 flu-related deaths, including one child. reports that data from the Alabama Department of Public Health shows the bulk of the deaths have occurred in the Northern District of the state and in Jefferson County. Both areas have combined for 23 flu-related deaths in the state.

Nine deaths tied to the flu were reported in the northeastern and east central Alabama, while the west central and east regions have four each, the ADPH said.

Mobile only has one reported flu-related death to the ADPH.

The hospitalization rate has risen to 41.9 people per 100,000, according to data from the Center for Disease Control. That’s up from fewer than 37 from the week before.

Seven more deaths of children were reported in the U.S. this week, the CDC said. In total, 37 pediatric deaths have happened during the flu season, including Zainab Momin, a third grade girl who attended Pike Road Elementary School in Montgomery.

Momin had been home from school due to a high fever and flu-like symptoms before being taken to the hospital, where she died on Jan. 16.

“We ask you to keep the Momin family in your thoughts and prayers, and also to keep the Pike Road Schools family in your thoughts and prayers,” said Pike Road Superintendent Dr. Charles Ledbetter.

Last month, Gov. Kay Ivey issued a state public health emergency due to the flu outbreak. It caused one Birmingham-area school, Briarwood Christian School, to close due to a large number of students and teachers with the flu.

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