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Influenza season has barely begun, but California child's death already classified as 'flu-associated'

Posted at 5:38 PM, Sep 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-13 17:38:11-04

(WXYZ) — A four-year old’s death has been linked to the flu. The child from Riverside County in California tested positive for influenza and is believed to be that county’s first pediatric flu-related death of the new season.

This death really hits close to home - my youngest is close in age to the child that passed, so my heart really goes out to the grieving family.

We really don’t know much except that the child tested positive for the flu and had underlying health issues. However we do know that children younger than 5 are at a higher risk for serious flu-related complications like pneumonia, dehydration, brain dysfunction and even death.

Last year 130 children died from influenza and the year before that there were 183 pediatric deaths. So it’s really important for children and adults to get the flu shot.

My family and I get the flu shot every year. But I have to admit, even we hadn’t scheduled our appointments before today. But it’s best to get this done as early as possible, especially for kids as the majority of children who die from the flu are usually not vaccinated. So I’m encouraging you all to make an appointment soon.

It’s definitely not off to a good start but we really don’t know how bad this year will be.

Last year the flu vaccine was 37% effective in adults, but it was 61% effective for children. However don’t focus too much on the numbers. Instead, let’s focus on creating herd immunity. That’s where the majority of people get vaccinated which then helps protects those who can’t get the flu vaccine for medical reasons. And also protects babies 6 months old and under.

Now, in less than 2 months, I’ll have a new addition to my family. So you can bet that anyone who regularly comes near my newborn son will be vaccinated. Because that’s how passionate I am about vaccinations.

This week on The Dr. Nandi Show, I’m talking about addiction - because we’re in the middle of an addiction epidemic. And I’m concerned, are we doing enough to fix families in its grip? Join me this Sunday as I discuss this tough subject with some of the country’s most respected recovery leaders. You’ll also here from addicts who battle every day to stay sober, to stay clean and to stay alive. We’ll talk bluntly about the crisis and what it’s really going to take for our nation to make a full recovery. Tune in on September 15th at 1 pm right here on WXYZ.