In California, a 4-year-old boy died after testing positive for the flu, according to health officials. Additionally, he had unrelated health issues. This death marks the first pediatric flu-associated death of the season in Riverside County.
Dr. Cameron Kaiser, a Riverside County Public Health Officer reminds, “We should never forget that the flu still kills. I always recommend people get their flu shots every year, but a death so early in the flu season suggests this year may be worse than usual. Our hearts go out to the family and loved ones who are grieving.”
Influenza is a contagious respiratory virus that can cause illness in patients that can range from mild to serious infections that can lead to hospitalization or even death. Older patients and young children, as well as those with certain health conditions, are at high risk for developing serious complications. The CDC recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months received the flu vaccine.
As of April 2019, 186 pediatric death nationwide were reported to the CDC during the 2017-18 flue season. Previously, the high was 171. Eighty percent of the deaths were in children who had not had the flu vaccine.
By Jeanette Smith
Fox News: California boy, 4, dies of flu-related illness, officials say
The Desert Sun: 4-Year-Old who died of complication from flu is county’s first death from influenza this season