Public Health reports first pediatric flu death of this season
Published Jan. 31, 2023
Placer County Public Health has been notified that a Placer County child under the age of 5 recently died from complications of influenza, the first such pediatric death in the county this season. The child had underlying health conditions, which did not include COVID-19 or RSV.
“We extend our condolences to the family in this tragedy,” said Interim Health Officer and Health and Human Services Director Dr. Rob Oldham. “It is not too late to get your flu shot, and this year’s shot appears to be a good match for circulating strains.”
During the 2022-2023 flu season thus far, 14 Placer residents have died from influenza. Influenza activity has subsided across Northern California and in Placer County since peaking in December, yet some activity can continue into May.
While flu vaccination is recommended annually for everyone 6 months and older, it is particularly important for young children, pregnant women, adults aged 65 and older and people with long-term health conditions.
It is also important to practice good health habits to limit the spread of influenza. People should stay home when sick; always cover coughs and sneezes; wash hands with soap and water; and avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth.
Influenza comes on suddenly and symptoms may include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches, body aches, chills, and fatigue. Symptoms of the flu can be similar to early symptoms of COVID-19, so testing is recommended. Providers may prescribe antiviral medications that reduce the severity and duration of illness. Antibiotics are not effective against the flu.
Most insurance plans, including Medi-Cal and Medicare, cover free flu vaccinations from your healthcare provider. Many pharmacies also offer no-cost or low-cost vaccines. To find a place to get a flu shot, visit vaccinefinder.org. Public Health will be offering both COVID-19 and flu shots at its February clinics. For more information on influenza, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention influenza website at cdc.gov/flu.