Missoula child becomes first flu death in state this season

MISSOULA (AP) — Montana health officials say a Missoula County child has become the first person to die of an influenza-related illness in the state this season.

Department of Public Health and Human Services officials said in a statement Monday there aren’t many flu cases in Montana right now, but the number is expected to increase in the coming weeks.

There have been five flu-related pediatric deaths across the nation so far.

Health officials did not identify the child who died in Missoula.

The aunt of a 6-year-old Missoula girl has started a GoFundMe page that says the girl died of influenza B and pneumonia on Saturday. The family is raising money to help pay for the kindergartner’s medical expenses and funeral on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.

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