California experiences its first baby underneath 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 baby underneath the age of 5 died after contracting the sicknesses. 

The California Department of Health reported the kid’s loss of life on Monday, saying that no figuring out particulars of the kid can be launched to guard the household’s privateness. It was the primary reported loss of life of this nature and age vary this winter season, officers mentioned. 

“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 mentioned. 

The kid’s loss of life “serves as a stark reminder,” mentioned 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 mentioned. “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, carrying a masks and staying dwelling when sick. 

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

The quickly spreading sickness prompted Orange County, California, to concern a state of emergency on Oct. 31, with officers saying the unfold has brought on “record numbers of pediatric hospitalizations and day by day emergency room visits.” 

Every 12 months, RSV causes about 58,000 hospitalizations in youngsters underneath 5, in line with 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 12 months, five pediatric deaths attributable to the flu have been reported to the CDC. And simply final week, greater than 6,400 folks have 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, informed CBS News that RSV tends to simply be like a “common cold” in most youngsters, however could cause respiratory misery in some. 

The signs of RSV are usually just like that of the flu and COVID-19, she mentioned. Any considerations, she mentioned, needs to 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 mentioned.

The mixture of sicknesses has grow to be referred to as a “tripledemic” that has already crammed up many pediatric ICUs across the nation. In many elements of the nation, these ICUs are full, CBS News medical contributor Dr. David Agus mentioned earlier this month, including that a lot of these hospitalizations are associated to the flu and RSV.


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