California reports its first child under 5 to die from flu and RSV this season

California well being officers are warning households to take precautions towards the flu and Respiratory Syncytial Virus, referred to as RSV, after a child under the age of 5 died after contracting the diseases. 

The California Department of Health reported the child’s dying on Monday, saying that no figuring out particulars of the child could be launched to shield the household’s privateness. It was the first reported dying of this nature and age vary this winter season, officers stated. 

“Young children are most vulnerable to severe complications from RSV and the flu, especially if they have underlying medical conditions or were born premature,” officers stated. 

The child’s dying “serves as a stark reminder,” stated Dr. Tomás Aragón, state public well being officer and division of well being director.

“Respiratory viruses can be deadly, especially in very young children and infants,” Aragón stated. “We are entering a busy winter virus season – with RSV, flu and COVID-19 spreading – and urge parents and guardians to vaccinate their children as soon as possible against flu and COVID-19.”

Aragón additionally urged folks to comply with “basic prevention tips” – washing fingers often, sporting a masks and staying residence when sick. 

California has seen a rise in constructive antigen RSV checks since August, hitting a 28.7% positivity rate by mid-October, in accordance to information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nationally across the similar time, there was a 17% PCR positivity rate and a barely declining roughly 15% antigen positivity rate, CDC information exhibits. That information was final reviewed by the CDC on November 2. 

The quickly spreading sickness prompted Orange County, California, to difficulty a state of emergency on Oct. 31, with officers saying the unfold has induced “(*5*) of pediatric hospitalizations and day by day emergency room visits.” 

Every year, RSV causes about 58,000 hospitalizations in youngsters under 5, in accordance to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and causes about 14,000 deaths amongst older adults. 

The flu tends to be extra widespread. This year, five pediatric deaths brought on by the flu have been reported to the CDC. And simply final week, greater than 6,400 folks had been hospitalized with the flu nationwide. 

Doctors elsewhere are involved by this triple menace of viruses. On Monday, Dr. Dyan Hes, the medical director at Gramercy Pediatrics in New York, advised CBS News that RSV tends to simply be like a “common cold” in most children, however may cause respiratory misery in some. 

The signs of RSV have a tendency to be comparable to that of the flu and COVID-19, she stated. Any issues, she stated, must be addressed by a pediatrician. 

“The problem is that these kids have been masked for two years, so they’re just getting sick back-to-back,” she stated.

The mixture of diseases has turn into referred to as a “tripledemic” that has already stuffed up many pediatric ICUs across the nation. In many elements of the nation, these ICUs are full, CBS News medical contributor Dr. David Agus stated earlier this month, including that lots of these hospitalizations are associated to the flu and RSV.

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