Heightened flu season putting children at risk - KMOV.com

Heightened flu season putting children at risk

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FILE - In this Aug. 27, 2010 file photo, nurse practitioner Susan Brown prepares a flu vaccination for a customer, in Rockville, Md. (AP Photo) FILE - In this Aug. 27, 2010 file photo, nurse practitioner Susan Brown prepares a flu vaccination for a customer, in Rockville, Md. (AP Photo)

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- The very old and very young are at greatest risk from the flu. Across the United States, the flu has already claimed the lives of 13 children.

Hundreds of children have been hospitalized and it can become a fight for them just to breathe.

"About four days ago he started breathing hard, vomiting having fever," said Shareeka Smith, mother of a sick child.

Children often pick up the flu at school or daycare. Because of their young age, the effects of the flu are more pronounced, especially the symptoms.

"Their lungs, their immune systems are still developing. Especially the younger ones and so they have a lot more complications," said pediatrician Dr. Claire Bocchini. "The flu is very dangerous. It's not your regular virus that gives you a couple days of runny nose." "

The best advice for everyone is to get a flu vaccine. Even if you still get the flu, the vaccine can lessen the impact and prevent complications.

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