Riverside County

Child Dies of RSV in Riverside County

RSV is a relatively common respiratory virus and most patients recover in a week or two, but it can become a serious illness for infants and older adults.

Health officials in Riverside County reported Monday a child under the age of 4 years old died after contracting RSV, or Respiratory Syncytial Virus.

“The loss of a child is devastating and all of Public Health sends it heartfelt condolences to the family, loved ones and anyone impacted by this tragic event,” said Dr. Geoffrey Leung, public health officer for Riverside County.  

Health officials said the child died after a short illness.

Other identifying details were not revealed.

The first case of a child dying of RSV in the state of California was announced Nov. 14.

Riverside University Health System Public Health recommended everyone take the following precautions to stop the spread:

  • Wash hands frequently. 
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. 
  • Keep children home when sick.
  • Consider indoor masking.
  • Disinfect frequently used surfaces.

RSV Symptoms

  • Shallow or difficulty breathing
  • Cough
  • Poor appetite
  • Listlessness or irritability
  • Bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lung)
  • Pneumonia (infection of the lungs)

President Joe Biden also recently declared an emergency in response to the "unprecedented" surge in RSV cases, which typically occur from November to March, but got an early start in surging cases in 2022.

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Infants 6 months and younger were being hospitalized with RSV at seven times the rate observed before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2018, according to CDC data.

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