Tragic News: 3-Year-Old Girl Dies From Flu Complications

February 13, 2018
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A 3-year-old Indiana girl died on Monday morning of pneumonia, a complication from having the flu.

Delaware County Coroner Scott Hahn said that the child tested positive for influenza A.

The girl has been identified as Alivia Viellieux.

She would have turned 4 next month.

“My heart goes out to the family. I mean that about makes me want to cry every time I hear something like that. No family should ever have to go through that,” said Roxane Brady, a Muncie mother of two.

The girl died at home after previously being hospitalized, the coroner said. The official cause of death will be released after an autopsy is completed.

Doctors say they are seeing more and more cases of the flu.

“It just takes a sneeze, cough, touching, touching a handle somebody else who is infected touched, so very contagious,” said Dr. Bianca Maya, a pediatrician at Meridian Health Services.

Many parents say they are doing all they can to protect their kids from the flu.

“I do disinfectant wipes. I make sure that they wash their hands constantly. I keep on top of them, make sure that I disinfect the bathroom constantly, even the kitchen counters. Everything that I can do to keep everything clean,” Brady said.

Sometimes it’s not enough, though.

Doctors said that if your child gets the flu, you should watch for signs of pneumonia.

“Any child who is acutely ill and is very fatigued and not taking fluids in or not responding normally, or any child who has difficulty breathing normally… In addition, any child that seems to be worsening after the first two or three days is always one that you should take a look at,” said Dr. Michael Burt, a pediatrician at Meridian Health Services.

Doctors also noted it is not too late to get a flu shot if you haven’t already.

There were 167 reported flu-associated deaths in Indiana alone this season, according to a report that recorded up through Feb. 3.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated in its latest numbers that the flu is killing 4,000 people per week, meaning 1 in 10 U.S. deaths are caused by the flu.

ALERT: Aggressive Flu Epidemic Is Set To Strike Twice This Season

This season, the flu has caused the death of more than 50 children and the virus shows no signs of slowing down.

The CDC says that doctors have never seen this many patients come to the emergency room with the flu.

To date, there have been 14,676 hospitalizations and counting.

“We think we’re at the peak of this Influenza A right now, but again, I thought we were at a peak a few weeks ago and it just kept going up,” said University Hospitals Infectious Disease Dr. Claudia Hoyen.

Hoyen said that Influenza A typically hits people the hardest from December to February.

After that, comes Influenza B, which tends to circulate from March until May. The virus is entirely different, which means people who’ve already been sick with the flu this season can get sick all over again.

“Even patients who are coming into the hospital with Influenza A, if they haven’t had their vaccine, we’re really trying to make sure they’re getting their vaccine before they go home because the last thing we want is for them to come back to the hospital in a few months with a different strain of the flu,” Hoyen said.

The second time around, complications may be even worse, because the body is still recovering from the last time you had the flu.

“If you were to come down with the flu twice your risk for coming down with something like pneumonia might be increased, so you don’t want to take that chance,” Hoyen said.

According to the CDC, there are a few steps that people should follow this flu season:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Practice other good health habits, including disinfecting surfaces, getting plenty of sleep, being physically active and eating nutritious food

Hoyen said that the flu shot is still the best course of action.

Even if it doesn’t keep you from getting the flu, it can help your body recover almost twice as fast.

Doctors cannot predict how late the flu season will run this year, but, at this rate, they said it’s highly likely it’ll stick around until May.

 

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