Baby boy suffers first flu-related infant death in Harris County this flu season

A baby boy has suffered the first flu-related pediatric death this flu season in Harris County.

Harris County Public Health reports he was less than one year of age, and he was a resident of northwest Harris County.

“We are deeply saddened to report a flu-related pediatric death, and our hearts go out to the child’s family, especially due to the holiday season. This is a somber reminder of the danger flu poses to our residents, especially those who are more vulnerable to develop serious flu complications,” said Dr. Umair A. Shah, Executive Director of HCPH. “We urge residents to get a flu shot and protect themselves and their loved ones.”

Dr. Umair Shah, Executive Director of Harris County Public Health, tells FOX 26, “Especially above the age of six months and to eight years, if it’s the first time getting vaccinated, we recommend that they get two doses of influenza vaccine, and so, in this case, the child did not have the full vaccination.”

According to information provided last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been 19 pediatric flu-related deaths across the country during this current flu season.

The CDC recommends getting a flu vaccine every year for all persons over six months of age. 

Flu season can last as late as May.

According to Harris County Public Health, flu symptoms can include the following signs and symptoms:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (very tired)
  • Vomiting and diarrhea (this is more common in children than adults)

Persons who have flu-like symptoms are asked to contact their healthcare provider for further advice.

Dr. Shah says, “We don’t want people to let their guard down, especially right now, the holiday season. People are coming together, New Year’s, we want people to be together, but we don’t want them to spread diseases, especially something like influenza.”