A person holding a thermometer with a tissue underneath.
Flu season generally runs from October to April with the virus causing tens of thousands of deaths, and hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, nationally. (Canva Images)

Riverside County health officials Tuesday reported the flu-associated death of a child under the age of 5, just days after the first deaths associated with the virus were announced.

“The death of a child is a loss for the entire community,” Dr. Geoffrey Leung, public health officer for Riverside County, said in a news release. “While such outcomes are uncommon, it reminds us that influenza is not to be taken lightly and we should take steps to protect everyone, especially the most vulnerable among us.”

Health officials said the child, who was pronounced dead at a Coachella Valley hospital, tested positive for Influenza A and did not have any known underlying health conditions.

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Caregivers of children experiencing trouble breathing, bluish lips, chest pain, dehydration or a high fever that does not respond to medication should seek medical care immediately. Health officials also urge everyone 6 months and older to get vaccinated against the flu.

Young children and older adults, as well as people with certain health conditions, are at a higher risk for severe illness from respiratory viruses like the flu, Covid-19 and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

Flu season generally runs from October to April with the virus causing tens of thousands of deaths, and hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, nationally.

Ahead of the start of flu season, Dr. Bradley Jacoby, chief of pediatrics for the Kaiser Permanente Riverside service area, told TN News that healthcare providers were preparing for a worse than normal flu season.

TN News is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news outlet providing Riverside County with high-quality journalism free of charge. We’re able to do this because of the generous donations of supporters like you!

Alicia Ramirez is the publisher of TN News and the founder and CEO of its parent company TN News.