A third child has died in British Columbia due to complications linked to influenza, cases of which continue to rise in the province.

The latest update from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control says it received three reports of influenza-related deaths in children under the age of 10 during the final week of 2023.

It says that means influenza was a contributing factor but not necessarily the primary cause of death in the children.

The centre previously said on Dec. 29 that two children had died in the preceding two weeks and early findings indicated secondary bacterial infections had contributed to their severe illness, which can be a complication of the flu.

Thursday’s report says cases of influenza are rising in B.C., along with RSV, while hospitalizations and deaths linked to COVID-19 have decreased since early November.

The centre says there are currently 219 people in hospital with COVID-19 throughout the province, with 26 in critical care.

It says in its first weekly summary since Dec. 21 that admissions to critical care have remained stable since early November.

It adds that COVID-19 was not found to be the underlying cause of death in 59 per cent of people who died within 30 days of a positive test over the last six months.

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