A 4-year-old boy passed away after a positive flu test in California. This is the first pediatric death this season in the Riverside County, Fox News reported referring to Cameron County Kaiser County Public Health Officer.
“We should never forget that the flu still kills,” Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County Public Health Officer, said in the news release. “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 respiratory virus that can cause mild or severe illness in patients, and serious infections can lead to hospitalization or even death.
In elderly patients, as well as young children or patients with certain diseases, there is a high risk of serious complications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a flu vaccine to anyone older than 6 months old to prevent infection and its complications.
As of April 2019, a total of 186 deaths were recorded nationwide during the 2017-2018 influenza season, which exceeded the previous maximum of 171. Approximately 80 percent of deaths occurred among children who did not receive the flu vaccine.