Healthy 4-year-old in River­side County dies from flu

The Tribune (SLO) - - News - BY SOUMYA KARLAMANGLA

A 4-year-old child in River­side County has died of the flu, bring­ing Cal­i­for­nia’s death toll from in­fluenza so far this sea­son to 52.

The child, whose name has not been re­leased by of­fi­cials, had no un­der­ly­ing health is­sues and had not been vac­ci­nated against the flu, ac­cord­ing to River­side County pub­lic health of­fi­cer Dr. Cameron Kaiser.

“This is a tragic re­minder that the flu can still kill, and that chil­dren are par­tic­u­larly sus­cep­ti­ble to the ill­ness,” Kaiser said in a state­ment. “Get your flu shot and get pro­tected.”

The child, who lived in the south­west part of the county, died out­side the county. Lo­cal of­fi­cials were no­ti­fied ear­lier this month.

Of­fi­cials say that the strain of in­fluenza go­ing around this year — H1N1 — tends to be most dan­ger­ous for chil­dren and preg­nant women.

Na­tion­wide, 16 chil­dren have died from the flu this sea­son, U.S. Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Preven­tion of­fi­cials said on Fri­day.

The flu sea­son runs from Oc­to­ber through May and typ­i­cally peaks in Fe­bru­ary. Flu cases in Cal­i­for­nia ap­pear to be in­creas­ing in Jan­uary, sug­gest­ing the sea­son has not yet reached its height.

Of­fi­cials en­cour­age every­one over 6 months of age to get vac­ci­nated. The vac­cine takes about two weeks to take ef­fect.

Last year’s flu sea­son killed 185 chil­dren na­tion­wide, 80 per­cent of whom were not vac­ci­nated, ac­cord­ing to the CDC.

The flu shot re­duces a preg­nant woman’s chance of catch­ing the flu by 40% and pro­vides im­mu­nity for her baby, ex­perts say. Peo­ple who re­ceive the shot and then still catch the flu typ­i­cally ex­pe­ri­ence less se­vere symp­toms.

Over­all, this year’s flu sea­son is ex­pected to be less se­vere than last year’s.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.