Samantha Hayes ReportingThe flu has arrived in Utah nearly two months earlier than usual, and the first three cases are young children. These first reported flu cases have health officials strongly encouraging us to get vaccinated if we haven't already.
The flu cases were confirmed in three children all under five years old, treated this week at Primary Children's hospital. Early cases of influenza may seem odd with the warm weather we've been having. Many folks don't think about flu shots until the weather turns cold, but nevertheless you may recall just about a month ago the Centers for Disease Control encouraged flu vaccinations, especially for children..
Three month old TessaLee is not old enough for a flu shot, but was one of the three in the hospital.
Jacque Hernandez, Mother: “I never thought about flu shots for kids, only thought about flu shots for older people."
Ilene Risk, Director of Epidemiology: “I think most people think that if they are healthy they don't need to get the flu vaccine. But healthy children do, especially between the ages of six and 23 months."
The flu vaccine is also strongly recommended for residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities, people chronic heart or lung conditions, including asthma, women more than three months pregnant during the flu season, and those who live or care for someone who is high risk
The Health Department says last year in Utah over 90 percent of those treated in the hospital due to influenza were children and infants.