Third Massachusetts Child Dies From Flu

by Nancy Shack, WBZ NewsRadio1030

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) -- Massachusetts authorities say a third child has died from the flu in the Bay State. The totals now include one boy from Worcester County, and two little girls both from Middlesex County.

Four-year-old Puthiraskmey Sopheak, who died Saturday, is the latest victim. She had just moved to Lowell from her native Cambodia last September.


Sopheak's father said that when he rushed her to the hospital last Tuesday, she had a low fever and was coughing blood. According to the father, doctors at Lowell General saw the girl, prescribed her Tylenol, and released her.

She did seem to be getting better until Saturday, when her health took a sharp downward turn that prompted her family to call an ambulance. She died a few hours later.

The Lowell General Hospital released a statement saying their deepest sympathies go out to Sopheak's parents, but that because of privacy reasons, they cannot comment further.

“January and February are typically the height of the flu season, and flu-related complications can result in very serious, life-threatening illness and even death, among both children and adults," the Department of Health said in a release. "These deaths are tragic and are a reminder of the dangers of flu and the importance of flu vaccination, our best protection against illness. The Department of Public Health urges people to get vaccinated, to wash their hands, cover their cough and sneeze and stay home when sick to limit the spread of disease."

The CDC says peak flu activity usually lasts through March.

Last year, one child died in the state from the influenza virus.

WBZ NewsRadio's Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports



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