JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi’s health department confirms a third pediatric influenza death for the 2017-2018 flu season.

The department, in a news release Tuesday, said the death occurred in an individual from Central Mississippi who was under 18 years of age.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers says influenza activity in Mississippi has “greatly decreased” over the past few weeks, but officials are still getting reports of new cases. The peak flu season in the state typically lasts from January through March.

Byers urges residents, ages six months and older, to get a flu shot. He says the type of virus primarily causing illness in Mississippi and nationwide is the H3N2 flu strain. Other prevention methods include staying home when sick, covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing and thoroughly washing hands.

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