In a tragic story that makes headlines across the country: A fourth graduate girl from Ohio died only one day after the diagnosis of strep throat and flu.
According to the Facebook post of Mason City Schools, Sable Gibson was diagnosed on Tuesday morning, he went into cardiac restraint on Tuesday afternoon and died on Wednesday.
Also this week, reports of a New Jersey child who died from the flu came earlier this month.
Although this year's flu season has been worse than all or last year, so far, 41 children have died across the country from flu-related cases.
The number of deaths associated with flu varies widely from year to year, but even during a relatively light flu season the illness claims thousands of lives. The CDC reports that the number of flu deaths in the United States over a period of three decades begins in the mid-1970s ranging from around 3,000 a year to as many as 49,000 in a bad year.
especially deadly, claiming lives , including a record of 185 children.
Although most people will recover as a result of flu, complications can arise, some of which may be severe or fatal. The illness can turn to anyone dead, but it is dangerous for adults over the age of 65 and under 5s.
How can flu lead to death?
The flu virus itself can lead to death if it causes severe respiratory problems and dehydration. However, the more common situation is complicated by the infection, explains Dr. Claire Bocchini, an infectious disease specialist at the Texas Children's Hospital.
He says bacteria pneumonia is the most common complication of flu that leads to death.
"This happens because flu virus loses the lungs and causes inflammation that makes it easier for bacteria to attack the lungs and cause a very serious infection," said Bocchini at CBS News. "The bacterial infection can make it difficult for children to breathe, and their environments are struggling to get enough oxygen to their body."
Another complication that can lead to death is. This happens when the body overrides into infection. Sepsis can affect multiple organ systems, sometimes causing organ failure and result in death.
Other rare complications of flu that can be fatal include heart infection (or myocarditis), which can cause sudden death or heart failure, and brain infection (or encephalitis), which can lead to dangerous seizures and swelling of the brain.
Younger and older adults are most at risk of these complications, as well as pregnant women and anyone with chronic medical conditions such as lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, and neurological conditions.
When to ask for urgent medical attention
If flu is severe, it is important to seek medical attention immediately to prevent further complications.
According to the CDC, emergency warning signs in children include:
- Fast breathing or breathing difficulties
- Chestnut color
- Do not drink enough fluids
- Do not wake up or not interact
- It's so incredible that the child is not going to be running
- Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and cough worse
- Fever with rash
In adolescents and adults, signs may cause breathing or short breathing, pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen, confusion, collapse, and severe or persistent vomiting.
If you or your child have these symptoms, it is important to have medical treatment immediately.
How to protect your family
The best protection against the flu is to get the flu vaccine. The CDC recommends everyone aged 6 months and over discharges flu every year. If you or your child have not received the flu vaccine again this year, experts say. Flu is growing in winter but can enter spring.
Although flu vaccine does not guarantee you will not become ill, doctors say it reduces the chance, and if you become ill it may be less serious.
If you have a young child who develops flu-like symptoms, such as fever, physical pain and fatigue, it is important to see your pediatrician to see if antiviral medication is like Tamiflu (which is also available as genetic oseltamivir) , Relenza or Rapivab are in need.
Amongst the other steps the CDC recommends to prevent the flu include:
- Avoid close contact with others, including hugging, kissing, or shaking hands.
- Move away from people before coughing or tossing.
- Wash your hands often, especially after coughing, tissue, or blowing your nose.
- Pour and spray into tissue then throw it away, or cough and spray in your upper shirt sleeves, covering your mouth and nose completely.
- Disinfect surfaces and similar objects such as toys and doorknobs.