PALM BEACH, Fla. – The Palm Beach County Medical Examiners office said Saturday that initial tests found that the influenza B virus caused the death of 12-year-old Dylan Winnik.
Palm Beach County Sheriff's Deputies found Dylan dead in his home Tuesday after a neighbor called 911 for ambulance.
His family said Dylan had only been suffering from cold-like symptoms for a few days. The boy split his time between living with his father in Palm Beach and his mother in Coral Springs.
Unlike the influenza A virus, influenza B is not associated with large pandemics, but children and teenagers are particularly vulnerable to the strain.
State officials said two other children have died of the flu recently in Florida.
Florida is among the 26 states where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting widespread flu activity.
On Friday, Gulf County on the Florida Panhandle closed all its schools due to flu concerns that have led to dozens of teachers calling out sick.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho told Local 10 News that he is more concerned about the flu this year than ever before.
Doctors think the increase in flu cases may be in part because the flu vaccine may be less effective than usual this season. The CDC said it's usually 50 percent effective. This year the flu shot is about 32 percent effective.