The flu outbreak of this 2017-2018 winter has been particularly harsh across the country and has hit young people and children quite hard. Presently, 37 children have died from the flu. The most recent occurred in Hurt, Virginia where a 7-year-old boy who started to experience symptoms on Friday passed away on Sunday from the flu. He was diagnosed as having a combination of the flu and strep throat.
Kevin Baynes Jr, 7- had been sent home from school on Friday because he was falling asleep in class and vomiting. On Saturday, family members took him to the emergency room where they diagnosed him as having a combination of the flu and strep throat. The hospital opted not to keep him overnight but sent him home with medication. According to family members, he was unable to keep down any food or water. However, he spent a great deal of time getting rest on Saturday. When his sister went in to wake him up on Sunday morning, she found him cold and not breathing, he was pronounced dead at the hospital shortly after.
In addition to Kevin Baynes, a young boy in CARROLLTON, Texas is now battling a brain infection from the flu. Witten Ramirez, 8-had contracted the flu like the rest of his family last week. While the rest of the family did recover, Witten seemed to show more serious symptoms of the flu than the other members of the family and Witten was sleeping extensively. Finally, as the symptoms persisted, Witten’s mother Desiree rushed him to the emergency room. The hospital ran a battery of tests on him only to discover that he had contracted a serious brain infection because of the flu.
The diagnosis shocked his family. The brain infection has now affected the part of his brain that affects his movement capabilities. Presently, Witten cannot sit, walk, stand or talk on his own. While he is expected to make a full recovery, he will need extensive neurological therapy in order to ensure he is able to function back to his normal capacity.
Doctors have not been able to find the cause as wo why certain people get neurological side effects from the flu, and while rare it has been known to occur in other cases. There are no known risk factors for this type of complication. Witton’s mother did note that her son had been vaccinated against the flu last year, but had not been this year.