Virginia reports first pediatric flu death of the 2019-20 season


FILE – In this Feb. 7, 2018 file photo, a nurse prepares a flu shot at the Salvation Army in Atlanta. The U.S. winter flu season is off to its earliest start in more than 15 years. An early barrage of illness in the South has begun to spread more broadly, and there’s a decent chance flu season could peak much earlier than normal, health officials say. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

RICHMOND, Va. (WJHL) — Virginia health officials have reported the first pediatric flu death of the 2019-2020 flu season.

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) says a teenager in Virginia’s northern region died from flu-related complications.

No other information about the case was provided.

An average of three flu-related pediatric deaths are reported each year in Virginia.

VDH says it has received 773 reports of pneumonia and flu-related deaths and has investigated 61 flu outbreaks through February 1.

According to an NBC Washington report, the girl is identified as Katie Giovanniello, a sophomore at Heritage High School in Leesburg.

Her mother told NBC she wants her daughter’s death to serve as a warning for others to get vaccinated.

GoFundMe page has been put together for the teen’s family. It had raised $13,745 as of 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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