California reports first flu, RSV death in child under 5

Fluvirus - Influenza virus or Influenza virus. The influenza virus causes the seasonal flu, with in humans, a set of symptoms associating: fever, headache, cough, pharyngitis, myalgia, asthenia and anorexia. View produced from a transmission electron

California health officials on Monday reported the first death of a young child due to flu and Respiratory Syncytial Virus infection, also known as RSV.

"Our hearts go out to the family of this young child," said State Public Health Officer and CDPH Director Dr. Tomás Aragón. "This tragic event serves as a stark reminder that respiratory viruses can be deadly, especially in very young children and infants. We are entering a busy winter virus season – with RSV, flu and COVID-19 spreading – and urge parents and guardians to vaccinate their children as soon as possible against flu and COVID-19."

The child was under the age of five. But officials did not provide other specifics such as the victim's exact age, or the location and date of the child's death.

Health leaders said young children are most vulnerable to severe complications from RSV and the flu, especially if they have underlying medical conditions or were born prematurely.

RSV cases are on the rise. Some Bay Area hospitals have reported that their pediatric wings are filled with young patients with the disease.