Harsher flu season claims life of 4th Minnesota child this season


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ST. PAUL, Minnesota — Minnesota has recorded its fourth death of a child linked to influenza this season.

Minnesota Department of Health spokesman Doug Schultz says that's two more than the pediatric deaths reported in all of the last flu season.

Schultz says while the number is "tragic," it doesn't suggest a need for panic. He tells the Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/1tROzg3 ) health officials are not seeing anything that is unexpected during severe influenza.

The flu season has been harsher, in part, because one of the circulating A strains of the virus is poorly matched to this season's vaccine. That strain also known historically to cause more severe flu seasons than other strains.

The health department is reminding Minnesotans to protect others by staying home from work or school when they have flu-like symptoms.

Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

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