We were so sorry to break this tragic news to the natural health community last week. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.

UPDATE: According to Sen. Jose Peralta’s wife, Evelyn, officials from the city’s Medical Examiner’s office explained that her husband died of rapid septic shock which led to organ failure. It was previously reported that the senator had had a heart attack but that was not the case. (Of note, none of the major news sites that initially reported that angle has corrected their statements. Anything to pull attention away from the fact that he had just had a flu shot?) However, because they still do not know what caused the fatal blood infection, more tests are being done. Mrs. Peralta said the doctor told her that this type of thing is rare given “his age and that it happened so quick … he was healthy. He was a healthy guy.”3

We will update this story once the additional tests are completed.

José R. Peralta, first elected to the State Senate in 2010 and the first ever Dominican-American elected to the NY Senate, died on Wednesday night. He was 47. A cause of death has not yet been determined but an autopsy has been scheduled.

Peralta had been ill for at least two weeks, but was reluctant to visit a doctor, according to his director of communications, Chris Sosa, because he assumed his symptoms were related to his recent flu shot.

His recent flu shot.

On Wednesday night, while at home with his family, Mr. Peralta became disoriented. He was taken to the hospital and died at 9:23 p.m.

“It was like pulling teeth to get him to talk about not feeling well,” Mr. Sosa said. “He just thought he was having symptoms related to getting the flu shot.”

“Mr. Peralta, a resident of Queens for three decades, attended public schools in the borough and graduated from Queens College, where he studied psychology and sociology and served as student body president.

As a lawmaker, Mr. Peralta was a champion of the Dream Act, legislation that would allow undocumented immigrants to qualify for college tuition assistance. He also introduced bills to legalize hoverboards in the city and to extend the length of time that speed cameras are used in school zones.”1

By all accounts he seems to have been a man of the people, working for the people who elected him.

Indeed, many of his colleagues shared their grief on Twitter:

And Mayor Bill de Blasio wrote, “Jose Peralta was a proud son of Queens and the Dominican Republic. He worked his way up from the grass roots, with heart and tenacity,”2

Our hearts go out to his wife Evelyn and sons Myles and Matthew. When there is more information on his cause of death, we will update you.


  1. The New York Times
  2. The New York Times
  3. The New York Post