MARICOPA COUNTY, Ariz. — Maricopa County officials said Tuesday a child has died from influenza, marking the county's first pediatric flu death this flu season.
Two pediatric deaths have been previously reported in other parts of Arizona so far this season. The child who recently died in Maricopa County was not immunized.
“This is a tragic reminder that anyone who is able to get the flu shot should, not only to protect themselves, but to protect those around them who are at highest risk of severe disease and death from the flu," said Dr. Nick Staab, a medical epidemiologist at Maricopa County Department of Public Health.
More than 16,000 flu cases have been reported to the county health department so far this flu season, which is the highest number of cases reported to MCDPH at this point in any flu season.
Up to Speed
Catch up on the latest news and stories on our 12News YouTube playlist here.
What is the Valley?
“The Valley” is what locals call the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. It is considered the largest metropolitan area in the Southwest.
The Valley is made up of various major cities other than Phoenix, including:
- El Mirage
- Litchfield Park
Whether a city is in the “East Valley” or “West Valley” depends on where it is in relation to Phoenix.
The cities of the Valley have a combined population of 4,845,832 people, according to the 2020 United States Census. This makes it the 11th largest metropolitan area in the country right behind the Boston and Atlanta areas.
How big is Maricopa County?
Maricopa County is the United States’ 4th largest county in terms of population with 4,485,414 people, according to the 2020 Census.
The county contains around 63% of Arizona’s population and is 9,224 square miles. That makes the county larger than seven U.S. states (Rhode Island, Delaware, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, Massachusetts and New Hampshire).
One of the largest park systems in the nation is also located in Maricopa County. The county has an estimated 120,000 acres of open space parks that includes hundreds of miles of trails, nature centers and campgrounds.
The county’s seat is located in Phoenix, which is also the state capital and the census-designated 5th most populous city in the United States.