Children Have Died From the Flu in New York City

Lucy Nicholson  Reuters

This year's flu season is turning out to be one of the worst, according to reports by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Two New York City children died from the flu Monday in what health officials said were the first confirmed pediatric fatalities linked to the virus this season in the five boroughs.

NY is experiencing its worst flu season in 10 years and saw a 50 percent increase in confirmed flu cases and a 21 percent jump in hospitalizations over the past week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said last week.

It's not too late to get a flu shot.

Bassett refused to say whether the two kids who have died were vaccinated, but said the large majority of children who die of flu are typically unvaccinated.

Dr. Daskalakis discussed the flu vaccine and debunked myths about this season's flu virus.

Torrey Jewett looks on as her roommate Donnie Cardenas recovers from the flu at the Palomar Medical Center in Escondido Calif
Gregory Bull AP

The severity of this year's flu season can be observed through the stark increase in emergency room visits for flu-like symptoms.

Though only offering an approximately 30 percent efficacy rate, getting vaccinated remains the most effective way of preventing the flu. No details have been released about the second child, other than saying it was a pediatric patient from New York City. Without the governor's order, pharmacists in NY state are not authorized to administer immunizations to anyone under the age of 18.

For more information about where to get vaccinated, call 311, visit nyc.gov/flu to access the Flu Vaccine Locator, or text "flu" to 877877.

Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner Lorelei Salas also reminded New Yorkers they have the right to sick leave.

Employers are also mandated to carry over up to 40 hours of paid sick leave from the previous calendar year.

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