RIVERSIDE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA – A child under four from Riverside County has died from a possible case of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
The child died at a local hospital after falling ill, the Riverside University health system said Monday afternoon.
News of the Riverside County child’s death comes just days after California reported the state’s first child death related to RSV.
RSV can cause severe breathing problems in babies, while cases of the flu are also on the rise. The situation is similar across much of the country, where doctors are bracing for the possibility that RSV, flu and COVID-19 could combine to strain hospitals.
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In response to the surge in RSV cases in children, officials have issued new guidance to manage the current and expected continued spike in hospitalizations due to an early winter virus season.
In addition, the CDPH recommends that all healthcare facilities, including inpatient and outpatient facilities with no existing pediatric services, consider short-term actions to expand capacity to evaluate and treat pediatric patients.
Officials gave the following advice:
- Get vaccinated, boosted and treated if you test positive
- Flu and COVID-19 vaccines continue to be your best defenses to limit serious illness and death — and you can get both at the same time. If you test positive for COVID-19, contact your doctor or test-to-treat agency immediately for treatment. Treatments for flu and COVID-19 work best when started soon after symptoms begin.
- Stay home if you are sick!
- It is important to stay home if you are feeling sick. Avoid close contact with others to protect them and take the time you need to heal. This is especially important for respiratory viruses like influenza, RSV and COVID-19, which can lead to more serious illnesses.
- Wear a mask
- There is no vaccine against RSV, so wearing a mask can significantly slow the spread and protect babies and young children who do not yet have immunity and are too young to wear a mask themselves. Wearing a mask in indoor public spaces is a great way to limit the spread of germs.
- wash your hands
- Frequent hand washing with soap and warm water – for at least 20 seconds – is a simple and very effective way to prevent illness and the spread of germs.
- Cover your cough or sneeze
- Remember to cough or sneeze into the crook of your arm, your arm, or a disposable handkerchief to help prevent the spread of winter viruses. Just make sure you wash your hands or disinfect and dispose of your tissue afterwards.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.