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Child’s Death in California Linked to Flu

Health officials in California have reported the first flu-associated death of the 2019-2020 season

September 13, 2019

Ahead of the official start of flu season, health officials in California have reported the first flu-associated death of the 2019-2020 season in Riverside County.

A 4-year-old child from Perris, California, died recently after having tested positive for influenza, health officials reported this week, noting the child had underlying health issues.

While influenza viruses circulate year-round, most of the time flu activity peaks between December and February, but activity can last as late as May, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

According to Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County Public Health Officer, the 4-year-old’s death is a tragic reminder of how deadly influenza can be. “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.”

A total of 130 influenza-associated pediatric deaths occurring during the 2018-2019 flu season have been reported to CDC. The CDC generally recommends routine annual influenza vaccination for anyone older than 6 months.

In addition to getting vaccinated, the CDC recommends avoiding close contact with sick people, staying home from work or school if you have flu symptoms, washing hands often with soap and water, avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth, and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

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