First infant flu death has been confirmed by officials in Stanislaus County California. State health officials have announced that an infant less than 1 year old has died because of the flu. This is the first case of an infant death because of the flu this flu season and comes only two days after the first adult flu death was announced in Santa Clara County.
- The first case of influenza-associated infant death this season has been reported in California.
- Only two days prior to this report the first case of an adult death from the same cause was reported.
- Doctors are advising patients that the flu season has begun and are reccomending inoculation.
Dr. Smith, a California public health officer, stated he was saddened that the flu has caused a loss of life, especially the loss of an infant who was too young to be vaccinated. The best way to protect infant children who are too young to be inoculated themselves during the flu season, according to dr. Smith, is for adults to vaccinate themselves in order to lower the chances of the infant contacting the infection.
Infants are particularly susceptible to contracting the flu, as they cannot be vaccinated until they are 6 months old or older. But if their family members get vaccinated it will help shelter the infants from the disease. Pregnant mothers should also get inoculated in order to protect not only themselves but also their children.
Doctors and public health officials are warning that the flu can cause severe disease for people of all ages and, if left untreated, can lead to severe complications and even death. They are urging people to get inoculated now that flu season has begun and warn about the need for people to take these precautions in order to stay healthy during the winter.
During the last flu season in California in 2014-2015 there were 78 influenza-associated deaths in people younger than 65 years of age reported. But many cases remain unreported so the actual number may be a lot higher. The annual number of flu-related deaths around the country is around 24000. This is partly because, according to the CDC, less than half of the American population uses a vaccine to guard against the flu.
People have several inoculation options when it comes to the flu vaccines available. There are two types of vaccines that they can administer in order to ward off the virus. One covers three strains of the virus, the other one protects against four of its variations.
The vaccines are available in clinics around the country and many pharmacies even offer walk-in patients flu vaccines as well. Doctors are encouraging a yearly flu vaccination for every person older than 6 months.
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