The death on Christmas eve of a Guatemalan child housed in a border detention facility from influenza B underscores the danger that the flu can pose in certain situations, and raises important concerns about the threat of influenza at border facilities, the Hill reports.
This 8-year old child was misdiagnosed with a common cold and was not even tested for influenza. He exhibited a 104-degree Fahrenheit fever that, while common with many childhood viral illnesses, is not usually the case with the common cold.
Currently, the United States is experiencing widespread flu activity in many states and more than a dozen pediatric deaths have occurred so far. Thankfully, early indicators suggest that this season will not be as severe as the last due to a vaccine well-matched to the dominant strain in most of the country. But we must continue to take the threat seriously.
Southern border states California, Arizona and New Mexico are all reporting widespread flu activity and as the season progresses to its traditional peak in February, we can expect most states to be experiencing widespread flu cases.