A young child in the Southland has died of respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, health officials said.
In a release Tuesday, the Riverside University Health System (RUHS) did not disclose the child’s name, city of residence or sex, just that they were under age 4.
Additionally, officials did not reveal details about the child’s illness aside from the fact that they died at a local hospital “after contracting a respiratory illness that is possibly linked to Respiratory Syncytial Virus.”
Jose Arballo Jr., spokesperson for RUHS, said the death occurred late last week but was only officially released to the public on Tuesday.
He added that the child was experiencing “several days of symptoms” before being brought to the hospital and was only hospitalized for “a short period of time” before they died.
The death comes as infections of RSV continue to spread across the country. Public health officials have said the season has started much earlier than usual, with autumn cases on par with those usually seen in January or February.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, weekly RSV cases nationwide have risen from 5,872 the week ending Oct. 1 to 16,512 the week ending Nov. 5.
In California, the five-week average of positive RSV tests has increased from 353.3 the week ending Oct. 1 to 1,335 the week ending Nov. 5, CDC data shows.
The surge has led to several hospitals operating at or near capacity and emergency departments with long wait times.
This is not the first reported death from RSV in the U.S. Earlier this month, California reported a pediatric death from a combination of RSV and the flu with deaths also reported in Michigan and Oklahoma.
Arballo Jr. said the county is also investigating the death of a child under the age of 10 who tested positive for RSV.