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First pediatric flu death reported in Ohio, victim is 4-yr-old boy

A 4-year-old child in Montgomery County has died as the result of the flu, Ohio health officials say. It is the state's first pediatric flu death. (Hannah Smith / KOMU / Flickr / CC BY 2.0 / MGN Online)

DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - A 4-year-old child in Montgomery County has died as the result of the flu, Ohio health officials say. It is the state's first pediatric flu death.

The Montgomery County Coroner’s office identified the victim as Johan S. Rieben of Clayton.

“It is a tragedy anytime a loved one is lost and we extend our condolences to the family and friends who are affected,” said Dr. Michael Dohn, Medical Director, Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County. There were seven pediatric flu deaths in Ohio last flu season.

Health officials are now urging that anyone six months and older receive the flu shot to be protected from the virus. “No parent should ever have to suffer the loss of a child to the flu. Our hearts go out the family,” says Jon Woltmann, MD, infectious disease department at Dayton Children’s Hospital.

In the first week of 2018, more than 1,700 people were hospitalized in Ohio due to the flu. Since the flu season began in October, more than 3,800 people have been hospitalized. Dayton Children's Hospital reports 220 children tested positive for the flu last week.

You can protect yourself and your loved ones from the virus by avoiding close contact with those who are sick. You should also avoid toughing your eyes, nose and mouth, cover your coughs and sneezes and wash your hands often. Health officials also recommend cleaning and disinfecting and objects or surfaces that may be contaminated with the virus.

If you have the flu, doctors say you should stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.

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