BOYLE HEIGHTS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) – Local doctors say they are seeing a faster increase in flu-like illness than in previous years. A new mom talks about the importance of getting vaccinated.
Her young son is in the hospital – fighting to fight off a dangerous flu infection.
Logan Sosa, two weeks old, looks up to get some fresh air. His mother, Maggie Sosa of Bell, rushed him to the Adventist Health White Memorial.
“That’s when they tested him and they said he had flu B,” she said.
Health officials say that the B / Victoria strain has been the dominant virus so far and that children are particularly susceptible.
“It was a shock because it is so small,” said Sosa. “There aren’t a lot of things they can do for him right now. But I know, I know, God has it in his hands. I know he’s going to get better.”
“Children cannot get the vaccine before 6 months of age and they are often the hardest hit,” said pediatric intensive care specialist Dr. Anthony Moretti at Adventist Health.
Health officials say that although this year’s vaccine is not a good match for the B / Victoria strain, a flu vaccine can still save a child’s life. Sosa had one during her pregnancy.
“When a pregnant woman receives the vaccine, it generates antibodies that are passed to the baby,” said Moretti.
CDC officials say this year’s flu vaccine contains an H1N1-A strain, which is starting to appear.
“We are probably only a quarter of our flu season away,” said Moretti.
During the 2018-2019 influenza season, 90% of deaths were due to the influenza A strain. It is the one that is gaining momentum. Half of the deaths occurred in children who were previously healthy and two thirds of them were never vaccinated.
“We encourage everyone who can, to get vaccinated, not only for themselves, but also for our youngest babies,” said Moretti.
“He will be better,” said Sosa, cradling her newborn baby. “We must definitely pray for this.”
Sosa hopes others will do what they can to protect little ones like hers.
“We absolutely have to wash our hands every time,” she said. “We need to get the flu shot first, especially with newborns. And if you feel like you are coughing, if you have a cold, maybe you should not even visit them until you are better.”
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