Hospital: Infant dies from flu in Lehigh County
SALISBURY TWP., Pa. - January 9, 2013 (WPVI) -- An infant has reportedly died due to the flu in Lehigh County.
"I can tell you there is a presumed influenza-related death," said Terry Burger, R.N. "We are working to get that confirmation."
Burger is the infection control director for the Lehigh Valley Health Network. The infant's death occurred here last weekend.
Citing privacy issues, Burger said the hospital cannot release if the child had been vaccinated. Nor can it say if he or she had any chronic underlying health problems that might have increased risk.
With the recent uptick in possible flu cases crowding emergency rooms, Lehigh Valley opened a tent, a mobile emergency room, on Monday.
Since then is has seen about 20 patients a day with mild flu symptoms. Most are given a prescription for Tamiflu and sent home.
Authorities continue to urge people get a flu vaccination. It takes about 2 weeks for it to become effective, and effectiveness seems varies from person to person.
Nothing is perfect.
"The problem is, the vaccine is 70 to 90 percent effective in most people and based on your age and underlying illnesses," said Burger. "It is not 100 percent effective for everyone."
Among the issues that can compromise a vaccine are: medications, such as those used in chemotherapy; and age, because the very old and very young can face elevated risks.
Still, the thinking is that even partial protection from a vaccine is better than no protection at all.
"Pretty much the indication is, if you get the vaccination, hopefully your disease will not be as severe and you won't have as many complications," said Burger.
flu, health care, philadelphia, lehigh county, local/state
- 911 recordings released in Ewing Twp. explosion
- Brief Surge of Mild Air
- Get the 6abc StormTracker app
- WATCH: Action News Online
- 2 injured in NJ Turnpike crash in Mt. Laurel
- 1 person injured in Hamilton Twp. house fire
- Autopsy results released in death of trooper's wife
- Mutilated animal in Brewerytown possibly a bobcat
- Search for finger-biting mall attack suspects
- Pa. woman born at Burger King seeks birth mom
- Cabbie allegedly locks doors in credit card dispute
- Vietnam vet's therapy dog missing in Lehigh Valley
- Photos: 7 recent child porn arrests in Pa.and Del.
- Video: Camden H.S. wrestler wins state championship
6abc.com News Links
Most Viewed StoriesMost Viewed Photos