California reports the first loss of life for a baby less than 5 years – On Monday, The California Department of Public Health announced the first death of a child younger than five years old from influenza and respiratory syncytial viruses (RSV) this winter .
CDPH has stated that it will not divulge any more details about the child’s time being to ensure confidentiality for patients.
“This tragic incident is an ominous reminder that respiratory illnesses can be fatal, particularly among very young children as well as newborns” the State Health Official as well as CDPH Director Dr. Tomas Aragon said. “We are in the midst of a hectic winter time for viruses, with RSV as well as COVID-19 being spread. We urge the parents as well as guardians of children to immunize their children as quickly as they can against COVID-19 and flu.”
Based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the respiratory syncytial virus can be described as a “common respiratory infection that generally produces mild, like symptoms of a cold.”
The CDC reported that most patients recover in two weeks, but RSV can be a risk for adults as well as infants. RSV is by far the most prevalent cause of bronchiolitis and respiratory pneumonia for children under 1 year old within the United States.
CDPH stated that they had confirmed that the RSV period, which normally begins in December and peaks in February, started in October like usual this year.
CDPH recommended hospitals who do not provide children’s services that they should “explore the possibility of implementing short-term measures to increase the capacity to evaluate and treat children” in anticipation of a potential increase in hospitalizations due to an early winter-time virus season.
CDC reports that RSV is the cause of 100-300 deaths and 58,000-80,000 hospitalizations among children aged 5 and younger each year across the United States.
CDPH also issued guidelines to prevent the spread of diseases:
- Get Immunized, Boosted, and Treated If You Test Positive
The vaccines for COVID-19 and Flu are still the best protection against fatal illness and death and you can have both at once. If you’re positive for COVID-19, consult your doctor or a test-to-treat website immediately to receive treatment. Treatments for COVID-19 and flu are most effective if they are initiated shortly after symptoms begin.
- Keep Home if you’re sick!
It’s essential to stay in your home when you feel sick. Stay away from contact with people around you to shield yourself, and also allow yourself the time to recover. This is particularly important for respiratory infections such as colds, RSV and COVID-19, that can cause severe illnesses.
- Use a mask
There isn’t a vaccine for RSV therefore wearing a mask could significantly slow the spread of the virus and protect infants and young children who don’t have immunity, and are therefore too young to be wearing an actual mask. The wearing of a mask indoors in public spaces is a great method to prevent the transmission of germs.
- Cleanse Your Hands
Handwashing frequently, using warm water and soap – for a minimum 20 seconds, is a simple and efficient way to avoid getting sick and transmitting germs.
- Protect Yourself from Sneezing or coughing
Make sure not to let your cough, sneeze or sniffle on the elbow of your hand or a disposable tissue , to assist in stopping the spread of winter-related viruses. Be sure to clean your hands afterward or disinfect and then dispose of your tissue immediately after.