Flu claims the lives of 2 children in the last 2 weeks

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PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) This year’s flu season is proving to be especially severe.

Just in the past two weeks, 8 On Your Side has just learned flu has killed two children in Pinellas County and the season is far from over.

This flu season is coming on hard and strong.

“It’s been bad from the quantity, so the number of patients we’re seeing and the severity of the illness.  We’ve see a lot, a lot of sick kids here that we’ve had to deal with” said Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital Pediatric Physician, Dr. Joe Perno.

Dr. Perno is a big proponent of flu shots.  Learning that the flu is responsible for killing 2 children in Pinellas in recent weeks, is tough.

“It hits you right in your heart. I’m a pediatrician, I’m a father. So any time I see a child sick when I think it could have been somewhat preventable, it’s hard” said Dr. Perno.

8 On Your Side found out, knowing when to take your child to a doctor is critical.

Dr. Perno suggests, if the child is not acting right, is confused, you can’t wake them, if they stop drinking, or struggles to breathe, you should take them to see a Pediatrician.

“86% of the kids we’ve seen who tested positive here, did not have the flu shot, so it helps and it’s never too late. We’ve still got, unfortunately, several more months of really strong flu season” said Dr. Perno.

The flu shot is not a guarantee against getting the flu. But Dr. Perno tells 8 On Your Side, it can lessen the impact of the flu.

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