The flu is more than a bad old. It can turn serious and due to complications, may result in death.
A 4-year-old girl died in Dallas County from the flu
This is this season’s first flu in Dallas County, Texas. A 4-year-old girl, Ashanti Grinage from Garland, just died from the complications of the virus. (1)
Ashanti’s parents are in shock. They claim their daughter was an otherwise healthy, normal little girl. She started showing flu symptoms only four days before the unexpected tragedy happened. From there, things moved incredibly fast and the family is obviously struggling to cope with their new reality. To make things even more difficult for the family, Ashanti’s mother is also at the hospital with flu-like symptoms.
According to Martell Grinage, Ashanti’s father, his daughter had no underlying health conditions. Her symptoms began shortly after church on a cold Sunday evening. Since she was an otherwise healthy child, they certainly didn’t expect her to die from what seemed like something minor.
By Tuesday, Ashanti had a 103-degree fever and her parents rushed her to the emergency room. It was confirmed that she had Flu type A. Ashanti never received the flu vaccine. The doctors were not worried and sent her home once her fever went down. They recommended over the counter medications for the fever, as well as lemon and honey to subside her sore throat.
By Wednesday, everything seemed better. Her fever was gone and her other symptoms were mild.
On Thursday, Ashanti seemed extremely lethargic and unwell. Her mother took her to the emergency room yet again. The doctors diagnosed her with pneumonia, and Ashanti died later that day.
Mr. Grinage said he feels like they let her down. She was their angel and always told her they would never let anything bad happen to her. They didn’t expect that complications from the flu would take her so young.
How many died from the flu?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 185 pediatric deaths related to the flu for the 2017-18 season. This was the deadliest flu season in a long time claiming 80,000 lives compared to 12,000 in 2011-12, and 56,000 in 2013-14. (2)
So far, 2018-19 has been somewhat better. About 7 million people got sick and about 80,000 have been hospitalized. (3) By January there were 13 pediatric deaths. (4)
How does one die from the flu?
It is a misconception that people die from the flu. People may die from complications, when the flu progresses into something else, such as pneumonia. The flu can also turn into a chronic complication, which can quickly become life-threatening such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or congestive heart failure.
Young children, pregnant mothers, people over 65 and those with a compromised immune system are at a higher risk of getting the flu.
How to protect yourself?
Remember, the flu is not just a bad cold. (5) The government and healthcare professionals recommend the flu vaccine for preventative measures. Whether you get vaccinated or not, make sure to protect yourself from illness this season.
Wash your hands regularly, eat a healthy diet, and try to stay clear from people who are coughing, sneezing or sick. If you are feeling sick, make sure to visit your doctor especially if you have a high fever, your symptoms are progressing too quickly or not getting better, or if you’re feeling unusually ill.
Did you get vaccinated for the flu? How are you protecting yourself from illness this season? Please, share your answers with us. We would love to hear from you.