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Health department investigating deaths of 2 Utah teens who tested positive with influenza

(David Goldman, AP Photo)



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OGDEN — The Weber-Morgan Health Department is investigating the deaths of two Riverdale students, who recently tested positive with influenza.

“We are extremely saddened for the families and friends of these young individuals,” said Amy Carter, epidemiologist with the Weber-Morgan Health Department. She said the two individuals, both juveniles whose names were not released, had different strains of the flu virus.

“As our investigation is ongoing and to protect the families’ privacy we are unable to provide additional details,” Carter said.

Flu is widespread across Utah, with more than 400 associated hospitalizations reported by the Utah Department of Health as of last week. Though, the number of confirmed cases is fewer than in previous years at the same time of year.

The two teens, ages 16* and 13, allegedly both passed away from complications of their illnesses on Friday while hospitalized at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City.

The health department encourages everyone to take steps to help prevent the spread of viruses by frequent handwashing, covering a cough and staying home when ill. It is also recommended that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine every year. It is not too late to get a flu vaccine, which is available through health care providers, many local pharmacies and the local health department.

For more information on the ongoing flu season in Utah, visit health.utah.gov/epi/diseases/influenza/surveillance.


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Wendy Leonard

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