California records first flu fatality of the season: a baby in Stanislaus County

A baby less than a year old has succumbed to flu in Stanislaus County of California, according to reports substantiated by officials of the California Department of Public Health on Friday.

A very contagious respiratory illness, the baby died from flu after an adult from Santa Clara County also died from the condition two days earlier.

No personal details about both individuals were released by state health officials. The only main information about the adult is that the individual is between the age of 18 and 65 years, and already suffering from existing health complications.

Dr. Karen Smith, the state Public Health Director expressed sadness over the loss of the persons from the flu and used the opportunity to advise people to go for vaccination. Since babies cannot be vaccinated until they are over 6 months old, Smith said parents should get flu shots to minimize spreading the disease to unvaccinated persons nearby.
Public health experts further noted that kids under the age of one are at more risk of catching influenza, while babies under 6 months of age cannot be vaccinated. Yet, they advise pregnant mothers to get vaccinated so as to protect themselves and their newborn baby from the airborne disease.

The health experts further caution people are coming around children to ensure they get previously vaccinated so as to reduce the risks of spreading the flu to the young ones whose immunity is still low, especially between December and April when the flu season is at its strongest levels.

Millions of people catch influenza every year in the US, and hundreds of thousands get hospitalized, but the dangers of the infection could be reduced if people aged six months and above would get vaccinated. To match the strains of the flu virus spreading in California, the influenza A (H3N2) and influenza B (Yamagata lineage) strains of this season’s vaccine have been updated.

Between 2014 and 2015, about 78 deaths related to influenza were reported in people below the age of 65 in California according to statistics from the California influenza surveillance group. Symptoms of flu include cough, sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, body aches, chills, and fatigue; but in children, this could be diarrhea, vomiting and nausea.


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  • I’m sure the family is so pleased that there tragedy is being spun off by the pharmaceutical industry like this in a bid to sell more product.