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New Mexico marks 1st child death of the state's flu season

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico health officials are reporting the first pediatric death during the state's current flu season.

The state Department of Health announced Tuesday that a 2-year-old Otero County girl died from a flu-related illness.

There have been over 230 pneumonia and flu-related deaths in New Mexico since last fall.

Officials are reminding the public that while there has been a drop in recent weeks in cases of flu, COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses, they can still lead to hospitalizations and deaths year-round.

They also urge people 6 months and older to get vaccinated for the flu in the summer or fall every year.

People can also maintain safe practices like washing their hands or their children's hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve and maintaining a social distance.