A five-month-old male baby from the Marysville area of Snohomish County died Tuesday, Nov. 3, with influenza complications contributing to the death, the Snohomish Health District announced last Thursday. The cause of death is unconfirmed, pending laboratory test reports.
“We all grieve when the community loses a child,” said Dr. Gary Goldbaum, Health Officer and Director of Snohomish Health District. “This little one had serious underlying health conditions, but that does not make the loss any easier for the child’s loved ones.”
Dr. Goldbaum said that pregnant women and babies younger than six months old are at high risk of complications from influenza. To protect the infants, who are too young to receive vaccine, caretakers of babies younger than six months should seek influenza vaccination to “cocoon” the child from illness. More information to help young families fend off the flu can be found at http://www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/may09swinefluqanda.htm, the Web site of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Since the beginning of September, the Snohomish Health District has been notified of 68 local people hospitalized with influenza.
With both seasonal and H1N1 vaccine in short supply, people are urged to continue with personal precautions to protect themselves and their families. These precautions include: washing your hands, covering your cough and staying home when you are ill.
If you do become ill, drink plenty of fluids, take non-aspirin fever-reducing medication, and call your health-care provider if symptoms become worse.
Expect that you will be ill for about a week, and stay home until you have had no fever (without medication) for 24 hours.
Snohomish Health District has begun distributing the very limited amounts of H1N1 vaccine available here to local health-care providers to vaccinate those in high-risk categories. H1N1 vaccine is very limited in supply and delivery is slower than expected.