2nd Massachusetts Child Dies From Flu-Related Illness

The child has only been identified as a girl from Middlesex County

Massachusetts health officials say another child has died as a result of complications from influenza.

Massachusetts Department of Public Health officials identified the child as a 4-year-old girl from Framingham. The child died within the past week.

On Wednesday, a 12-year-old Milford boy died after being treated at a local hospital for the flu.

The cases appear unrelated, according to health officials, and were both confirmed to be flu-related by the state's public health lab.

"These deaths are tragic and a reminder of the dangers of flu and the importance of flu vaccination, our best protection against illness," Dr. Larry Madoff of the Department of Public Health.

Officials said this year's flu season is mirroring last year's, which was widespread and severe, but added that there are preliminary indications that the vaccine for this flu season appears to be "highly effective" and there is no shortage.

"It's, unfortunately, a very tragic set of events, but one we see almost every year when there are children — many of them who are previously completely healthy — who contract influenza and die as a result of complications," Madoff said.

There has been at least one flu-related death in New Hampshire and 14 flu-related deaths in Connecticut so far this season.

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