RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) – A four-year-old died from complications stemming from influenza — the first pediatric flu-related death in Riverside County this season, health officials said Wednesday.
The child, whose identity was not disclosed, was from the southwest county area and was taken to a hospital outside the county, where the death occurred last week, according to Riverside University Health System officials.
County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser said the victim had not received a flu shot and did not have any known pre-existing health disorders.
“Our condolences go out to the loved ones who have suffered such a great loss,” . “This is a tragic reminder that the flu can still kill and that children are particularly susceptible to the illness. We continue to recommend community members get their flu shot.”
It marks the second flu-related death reported so far in Riverside County after a 60-year-old Riverside man died from flu-related complications in November.
While Kaiser acknowledged that last season’s flu vaccines were found to be only40 percent effective against the viral strains that spread throughout the county and state, he said even at the lower level of protection, “you’re still 40 percent less likely to get the flu, and even if you do get it, it’s usually less severe.”
According to the CDC, vaccinations have attendant risks, including causing infections, but those cases are rare.
Flu vaccine critics, including naturopathy practitioners, argue that mercury, detergents and other additives sometimes packed into the shots can do more harm than good. They generally recommend high doses of vitamin C and similar natural remedies to ward off and combat the virus.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Wire services contributed to this report.)