An eight-year-old boy from Northern Ohio is the first pediatric victim to die from the flu during the current influenza season in the state.

The Ohio Department of Health says the death occurred in Ashland County.

There have been 972 flu-associated hospitalizations reported in Ohio so far this flu season.

That compares with 108 reported during the same period within the 2020-21 influenza season, which saw an unusually low amount of influenza compared to more typical flu seasons.

At this point in the 2019-20 flu season, there were 10,540 hospitalizations.

COVID-19 mitigation measures such as wearing face masks, staying home, hand washing, school closures, reduced travel, increased ventilation of indoor spaces, and physical distancing, likely contributed to the decline in 2020-21 flu incidence and hospitalizations, according to state health experts.