(WFXR) — The Virginia Department of Health says this summer has been an unusual one when it comes to the flu.

“In general, we would see peak flu activity between December and February and March and in general by May we just don’t see significant flu activity, this year has been different,” said Dr. Cynthia Morrow, the Director of the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts (RCAHD).

Dr. Morrow, explained the increase overall has been minimal but says​ this odd spike in summer flu cases had a devastating impact on one Virginia family. 

According to VDH a child under the age of five in central Virginia died from complications associated with the flu earlier this month.

“It must have just destroyed that family.  You don’t think about your child dying of flu let alone dying from flu in the summer,” said Dr. Morrow.

VDH says its important to keep that case as an exception.

Health officials are still working to figure out exactly why this shift in season is happening in certain areas of the country, some speculate it has to do with pandemic-era precautions.  Others worry it’s vaccine hesitancy, but Dr. Morrow says there is no official answer right now.

“I really would just be speculating I don’t think that any of us know,” said Morrow.

VDH recommends yearly vaccination in October or September as the first and most important step in protecting yourself and your loved ones from influenza illness.