NORTH BERGEN — A district student has died as New Jersey and the nation grapple with a flu that's killed as many as 4,000 people in a week.

The New Jersey Department of Health on Tuesday said it had been notified of the death of a six-year-old girl from Hudson County, the state's second death from the flu.  The girl's identity was not disclosed.

A GoFundMe page created to help with medical, funeral and memorial costs identified the girl as Nevaeh Hernandez.

North Bergen's superintendent of schools George Solter in a Facebook post on Monday afternoon  called it a "sad day" in announcing the student's death on Facebook.

Solter said the district "is taking every precaution to make each one of our schools a safe and healthy learning environment for our students." He didn't specifically say the student died of the flu, but did address precautions being taken to avoid spread of the virus.

"I would like to express on behalf of the entire North Bergen School District our deepest sympathies for the family of our student, our hearts, thoughts, and prayers are with you during this difficult time," he said. "We all stand together as a school, a district and a community during this trying time."

Solter said the district has been disinfecting desks and other surfaces students touch on a regular basis. Solter said parents have also been encouraged to keep kids home from school if they appear to be suffering from flu-like symptoms.

The township's health department is offering free flu vaccines to residents as well.

Last month, a 4-year-old girl became the first New Jersey fatality from the flu of the season. Several hospitals across the state have limited access to patients in an effort to stem the virus from spreading, and schools in Branchburg were completely closed last week due to what the district called an "outbreak of flu among essential personnel."

CDC acting Director Dr. Anne Schuchat said last week that 53 children have died of the flu so far this season across the country, with 16 cases reported with the past week.

According to the CDC, symptoms of the flu include:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills, although not everyone with the flu gets fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

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Contact reporter Adam Hochron at 609-359-5326 or Adam.Hochron@townsquaremedia.com

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