The family of a 12-year-old boy in Florida is grieving after flu is suspected in causing his death on Tuesday. Dylan Winnik had sniffles and was exhausted, symptoms his family initially thought were a cold. Now, they believe it was flu.
Health officials aren’t sure yet, but Dylan may be the latest in a growing number of young children dying this year from influenza.
A 6-year-old girl in North Carolina died from flu on Jan. 18, a few days after falling ill. When Emily Muth’s breathing become labored, her worried parents called an ambulance. Paramedics told the family Emily was experiencing typical flu symptoms and that she’d be better soon. But a few short hours after the ambulance left, the girl stopped breathing, her family posted on their GoFundMe page.
It’s too soon to determine whether the current flu season, which may last until May, will lead to more pediatric deaths than usual. As of Jan. 13, there had been 30 flu-associated fatalities in children, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The actual number of pediatric deaths may be higher, since it takes a few weeks for the CDC to gather the information, and not all states report flu deaths quickly or in the same way.
The CDC will report new data on pediatric deaths on Jan. 26.