It now appears that we are in the middle of the worst flu epidemic in years. There have been at least 30 children who have died of the flu virus and we are still in the flu season. One case of death occurred in Cary, N.C. when 6 years old Emily began to show flu symptoms on January 16th of this month. She had a fever and was feeling the usual aches and pains, runny nose, and cough. In three days, her breathing became very labored and paramedics were called into the home. They said labored breathing was a flu symptom and left. Emily’s breathing became more labored and a second call was made to the paramedics. When they responded to the call, the EMT’s could not save her.
This is just one case that is proving the how quickly the flu can become fatal. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has noted the rapid rise in hospital care for children and the elderly with the flu according to The Washington Post https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2018/01/23/she-claims-paramedics-said-her-6-year-old-had-common-flu-symptoms-and-left-now-her-daughter-is-dead/?utm_term=.c533398091d9.
This leads to the debate of flu shots and how well they work to prevent or lessen the impact of the flu virus on the body. Many doctors advise getting the shot due to the prompting of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The flu virus takes between 1-4 days to begin symptoms after contact with 2 days being the average. Symptoms show as fatigue, sore throat, headaches, labored breathing, muscle or body aches, fever, chills, cough, runny or stuffy nose. Vomiting and/or diarrhea may occur in younger children but not as often with adults.
Emily was a case where the parents did everything right. She was taken to an urgent care center and diagnosed with the flu after she began showing symptoms. The parents were told to keep her hydrated and given a prescription for Tamiflu. The fever was abetting on Thursday, It was on Friday that the breathing became labored and she succumbed.
The flu season may have already peaked but it is not over. The forecast for the next 3 months is still foreboding. The hospitals in the US are currently challenged with a shortage of saline bags. These bags are manufactured in Puerto Rico. Hurricane Maria took a toll on this island and the manufacturing facility that makes the bags.