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Health Officials Confirm 3rd Child Dies From Flu-Related Complications in Mass.

Massachusetts health officials say a third child has died as a result of complications from influenza.

Officials said the patient was a girl from Middlesex County. Her death was announced Tuesday. It was the third fatality of the year.

Earlier this month, officials said a 4-year-old girl from Framingham and a 12-year-old boy from Milford died from the flu. Both cases were unrelated.

Dr. Larry Madoff of the Department of Public Health said this year's flu season in Massachusetts has been widespread and severe.

"January and February are typically the height of the flu season, and flu-related complications can result in very serious, life-threatening illness and even death, among both children and adults. These deaths are tragic and are a reminder of the dangers of flu and the importance of flu vaccination, our best protection against illness," said Madoff.

Despite reports of both influenza-like illness and flu-related hospitalizations leveling off, officials say peak flu activity usually lasts through March.

There was one flu-associated pediatric death in Massachusetts last year.

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