Community Health Harvest Event

Carson Arnold, 49, gets a flu shot from RN Barbara Maxwell, left, during the First Community Health Harvest Event at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, VA Friday, Nov. 28, 2014.

A teenager in Northern Virginia died from complications related to the flu, the Virginia Department of Health announced Tuesday.

The teenager was the first pediatric death of the 2019-20 flu season, though there have been 773 adult pneumonia and influenza-associated deaths as of Feb. 1, according to the department. VDH did not release further details about the victim to protect the family’s privacy.

“We offer our condolences and deepest sympathies to this child’s family,” said State Health Commissioner Norman Oliver. “Sadly, this is a tragic reminder that flu can be a serious illness, and we encourage everyone to take precautions to protect themselves and others.”

The flu is currently considered “widespread” — the highest level of infection possible — throughout Virginia.

The health department recommends getting vaccinated, regular hand washing, and covering coughs to avoid the spread of the flu, and taking antivirals as prescribed for those who become sick.

bbalch@timesdispatch.com

(804) 649-6601

Twitter: @bridgetbalch

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