MARION, Ohio (AP) - Health officials say a 9-year-old boy from Marion is the fifth child to die after suffering flu-related illness in Ohio this month.
Relatives say his family initially thought the third-grader was suffering breathing problems related to his asthma. He was rushed to a Columbus hospital, where he died.
Children with chronic health conditions are also more at risk for the flu. Those include asthma, heart disease, immune system problems and some blood disorders.
Ohio previously reported four flu-related child deaths in recent weeks: a 6-year-old Salem boy and a 7-year-old boy from East Liverpool, both in Columbiana County in eastern Ohio; a 7-year-old girl in Fulton County in northwest Ohio; and a 6-year-old girl in Cuyahoga County.
One child died in Ohio during the previous flu season, which typically lasts from October to May. Six died during that same period between 2014 and 2015.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.