RI health department reports first 2 flu deaths

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Rhode Island Health Department has reported the first two flu deaths of the season.

The department said Monday that a man in his 50s with underlying medical conditions died on Jan. 1. Another man in his 80s who also had underlying medical conditions died on Jan. 25. Officials said the reporting of the deaths was delayed because of the time it took to confirm that flu was the cause of death.

There have been 129 flu-related hospitalizations in Rhode Island so far this season.

State Health Director Michael Fine says there is still plenty of flu vaccine available and urges everyone 6 months and older to be immunized.

This year's strain of flu affects children and young adults more than people in other age groups.

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