It is always difficult to report on the loss of a child, particularly during the holiday season. Sadly, the Riverside Department of Public Health recently reported the loss of a ten-year-old child in Murrieta due to complications from the flu.
This was the first flu related death in Riverside County of the 2017-18 flu season. The unnamed child passed away last Thursday.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), flu season in the U.S. begins in October and continues through May. The agency has confirmed that the disease has already spread to a number of states this year.
Riverside Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser noted how, “This is a tragic reminder that the flu still kills.’’ He used this occasion to remind the community to, “Get your flu shot and get protected.”
As of publication it was unknown whether the deceased child had any underlying conditions or a weakened immune system that could have put him/her at greater risk for complications from the illness. Kaiser reminded parents and guardians of the importance of keeping their children home from school when ill.
According to the CDC, eight influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been reported nationally for the 2017-2018 season including the recent loss in Murrieta.
Most medical experts agree that timely immunizations can help prevent the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases among children, adolescents, and adults. Currently, flu vaccinations are being offered at health clinics in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, doctors’ offices, and pharmacies across the region. To locate a Public Health facility near you in Riverside or San Bernardino County visit the following websites: Riverside County rivcoimm.org/Portals/0/2016_Community_Partners_List.pdf?ver=2016-10-11-093028-463; San Bernardino County http://wp.sbcounty.gov/dph/programs/clinics/clinic-locations/.