4-year-old's pediatric flu-related death considered to be 1st in Riverside County this season

A 4-year-old child's flu-related death is considered to be the first of the 2018-19 flu season in Riverside County, health officials announced Wednesday.

Riverside County health officials stated in a press release that a child from southwest Riverside County recently died and tested positive for influenza.

The death took place outside the county and was reported to county health officials late last week, the press release stated. The child had not received a flu shot and had no underlying health issues, according to Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser.

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Kaiser reminded the public of the importance of getting a flu shot.

"...This is a tragic reminder that the flu can still kill, and that children are particularly susceptible to the illness," Kaiser said. "We continue to recommend community members get their flu shot. Get your flu shot and get protected."

He said there is still time to get the flu shot and added that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months and older receive a flu shot every year.

Frequent hand washing and avoiding getting close to people who are sick are also great ways to avoid the flu.

There have been two pediatric flu-associated deaths in California so far during the current flu season, according to state health officials.

During the 2017-18 flu season, there were 23 flu-associated deaths in Riverside County of people 64 years old or younger. There were 80,000 flu-deaths nationally in the same age group, according to the CDC.

For more information on where flu shots are being offered throughout Riverside County, www.rivcoimm.org.
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