An Ontario child with a confirmed case of the flu has died amid provincial concerns of RSV, the flu and COVID-19.
Leeds, Grenville and Lanark (LGL) District Health Unit's Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Linna Li, confirmed to Narcity that a child has died in their region.
"We are aware of a death in our region of a child who had tested positive for flu. We are saddened by this tragic death," said Li.
"We are not aware of any other flu-related deaths in our region. Death is an infrequent outcome due to influenza infections. Estimates vary from hundreds to thousands of Canadians dying from flu infections per year, depending on the severity of the flu season."
Li highlighted young children, elderly people, pregnant people, and anyone with chronic illness are at greater risk of more severe flu infections.
LGL data shows that the flu is the main respiratory virus circulating in the region.
"Because we have not had significant flu circulation in the past two winters, people may be more susceptible to influenza infection than usual," said Li. "We are currently seeing more cases of flu in the LGL region, and earlier in the year than in typical winter respiratory seasons."
Li said the flu shot is the best way to reduce getting the flu and severe outcomes from the virus.
Those 6 months and older are eligible for the flu shot, and in addition to getting the shot, Li recommends individuals wash their hands, stay home when sick, wear a mask and clean high-touch surfaces regularly.
This news comes just six days after Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore "strongly recommended" Ontarians mask up indoors as pressure in the pediatric health care system builds.
"What might be a cold to you can lead to a severe respiratory infection in a child four and under," said Moore in a press conference. "I'm very concerned about our children and protecting our children right now."