Mother Of Two Dies From Flu After Taking Care Of Her Sick Family

January 30, 2018
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An mother in Indiana has died days after receiving a flu diagnosis after she took care of her sick family members.

Karlie Illg’s father told WCPO the 37-year-old Mom of two was previously completely healthy.

She cared for her sick family, but soon after they recovered, she started feeling ill. Doctors quickly diagnosed her with influenza.

“They said ‘Yeah, you’ve got the flu’ and gave her the usual list of things to do,” said father Karl Illg.

She soon returned to the hospital, but was sent home when her chest X-rays came back clear.

The next day, Karlie felt worse and rushed back to the hospital.

“She said ‘I need somebody to come and watch the kids and I need somebody to take me to the hospital,’” Karl recalls.

Her flu had turned into pneumonia.

“My wife called and said, ‘Get the kids dressed and get over here right away – they’ve put her in the ICU. She’s in critical condition,’” said Karl.

Karlie died Sunday, just 3 days after being diagnosed with the flu.

“I never even got a chance to talk to her again,” Karl told Fox 59.

The Mom of two did not get a flu shot this year, though her children and husband did.

Karl plans to put a yearly notice in the local newspaper to remind people of how important it is to get a flu shot.

“(We’re doing this) for Karlie. Telling her all we still love her and to let people know that they should get over their prejudices and biases about shots and things and get them because I might have a daughter still,” said Karl. “Four people got sick that week at this house. Three of them had the flu shot. Karlie didn’t have her shot this time – the first time in a long time – and she died.”

GoFundMe has been set up to support her family.

Schools Urge Parents To Keep Sick Kids Home To Stop Flu From Spreading

The Centers For Disease Control says that 30 children have died from influenza in the US this flu season.

While some children are more susceptible to the virus than others because of pre-existing conditions, the flu can be deadly for almost anyone.

The ones I’m reading about were your typically healthy kid who just got sick and all the sudden wasn’t with us anymore,” Jeannie Bisard, Chief Nurse for Lyon County School District said.

The school district sent out letters to its students’ parents this week, encouraging them to keep their kids home from school if they are sick or have symptoms of an illness.

We really want parents to understand that you have to keep your kids home if they’re not feeling well, if they’re coughing, if they’re running a fever, just so they’re not spreading their germs to all their friends,” Bisard said.

Bisard says that this is one of the worst flu seasons for children that she has seen during her 35-year career.

There are many other illnesses going around this season as well.

We are seeing a lot of kids coming in, runny noses, coughs, just feeling rotten,” Bisard said. “We’ve also had a lot of tummy bugs running around.”

The school district teaches its students the importance of hygiene, in order to prevent illnesses.

Sheri Weakly-Banks teaches Pre-K at Fernley Elementary School. She says that her students wash their hands at least three times a day.

“Every time we come in from recess, we do it before we go to lunch, and we use hand sanitizer in between,” Weakly-Banks said. “We really work with them if they sneeze or if I see them touching their nose, go get a tissue, go wash your hands because I always tell them ‘I like you but I don’t like your germs.’”

Weakly-Banks says that the new year is off to a good start, but there were a few weeks before the Christmas break where some of her students missed as many as two weeks of school due to an illness.

“My class hasn’t been hit too hard, but I’m hoping our washing our hands is part of that because we do it a lot,” Weakly-Banks said.

If children have symptoms, they are encouraged to stay home for at least 24 hours after the last episode. 

The school district also hopes the students and parents will work together when they are at home to wash their hands and disinfect surfaces.

“If the parents and the kids can work together, to keep reminding each other, it will be able to prevent a large amount of disease processes,” Bisard said.

The school district had a flu shot clinic for students and staff in September, shortly after the school term started.  While some did not get a flu shot, experts say that the best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated.

It’s not too late to get a flu shot either.

“Flu shots are available everywhere,” Bisard said. “So, we’re definitely encouraging everybody that hasn’t gotten a flu shot yet to go get it.”

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