New Jersey health officials have confirmed the first pediatric flu death of this season.

The child, identified only as a Central Jersey resident, died in late December.

“I am deeply saddened for the family of this young child, who experienced an unthinkable loss," Health Commissioner Shereef Elnahal said Tuesday.

Data from the state Health Department show in the last week of December, there were six recorded severe cases of pediatric flu. Last flu season, five New Jersey children died of pediatric flu, the worst fatality count in three seasons.

NJ child dies of flu, first pediatric death of 2018-2019 season NJ Dept of Health)
NJ child dies of flu, first pediatric death of season (NJ Dept of Health)

Late last month, New Jersey was among 19 states dealing with "high activity" of flu-like illness, according to the CDC.

The state Department of Health has repeated its call that people take necessary precautions during this flu season: wash or disinfect your hands frequently, cover any coughs and sneezes, stay home and call your health care provider if you are sick (especially with a fever).

Residents can find flu vaccination clinics near them by calling their local health department or by visiting

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