8-year-old girl who died after testing positive for the flu

Memorial held for 8-year-old girl who died after testing positive for the flu

•                Park City family held memorial services Thursday

o   8-year-old daughter died Sunday after testing positive for the flu

o   Girl became ill with a stomach bug

§  But got progressively sicker over a period of 2 days

o   After parents saw discoloration in fingers, took the girl to urgent care clinic

§  Tested positive for Influenza A

§  Doctors rushed her to hospital, as condition continued to worsen

·       Died within an hour of arriving

·       Doctors were unable to revive her

o   Doctors believe that the 8 year old may have had a secondary infection that was to blame for her death

§  Flu weakened the immune system and made the other infection fatal

o   Girl had received her flu shot weeks before she was diagnosed with the flu

o   Health dept. still waiting for the medical examiner to confirm whether or not the flu caused the girl’s death

o   There have been 226 confirmed flu-related hospitalizations this year in the state of Utah and two deaths have been reported in Salt Lake County

•                The flu kills about 36,000 Americans per year

o   Children are at highest risk for contracting

o   people over the age of 65 are most likely to die from the flu

o   Best protection from the flu is annual flu shot

o   The flu vaccine is estimated to be 50 – 60% effective

•                How does the flu shot work?

o   The shot causes antibodies to develop in the body about 2 weeks after vaccination

§  Antibodies provide protection against infection by viruses in included in vaccine

o   Typically, the strains included are the flu virus strains that research shows will be the most common during the upcoming season

§  Most flu vaccines protect against the two most common strains

•                The flu can cause mild to severe illness

o   Serious outcomes of flu infection can result in hospitalization or death

o   Older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications

o   Common flu symptoms include:

§  Fever or feeling feverish/chills

§  Cough

§  Sore throat

§  Runny or stuffy nose

§  Muscle or body aches

§  Headaches

§  Fatigue

§  Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children

o   Most people will recover from the flu in a few days to 2 weeks

§  Others can develop complications that puts their life at risk

§  People with underlying medical conditions are at higher risk for serious complications

§  Complications from the flu include:

·       Pneumonia

·       Bronchitis

·       Sinus infection

·       Ear infection

•                5 things that suggest problem could be serious:

§  Fast or troubled breathing

§  Numb or blue fingers or toes (poor circulation)

§  Can't touch chin to chest (meningitis)

§  Symptoms improve and then return (secondary infection)

§  Something just doesn't seem 'right'


•                You should only go to the emergency if you are very ill, not for mild symptoms

In children

o   Fast breathing or trouble breathing

o   Bluish skin color

o   Not drinking enough fluids

o   Not waking up or not interacting

o   Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held

o   Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough

o   Fever with a rash

In addition to the signs above, get medical help right away for any infant who has any of these signs:

o   Being unable to eat

o   Has trouble breathing

o   Has no tears when crying

o   Significantly fewer wet diapers than normal

•                How to Treat the Flu

o   Most people with the flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs

o   If you have flu symptoms you should stay home and avoid contact with others

o   You can take medicine like Tylenol to reduce fever

o   If you fall into a high risk group (children are one such group) you should contact doctor as soon as symptoms start

o   If your flu symptoms are very serious

o   Doctor may prescribe antiviral drugs (such as tamiflu)

§  Side effects include allergic reaction, chest tightness, trouble breathing, rash, seizures, nausea, vomiting diarrhea

§  Drugs can shorten duration of the flu and lessen normal symptoms


•                When caring for people who have the flu:

o   Avoid being face to face with the sick person. If possible, it is best to spend the least amount of time in close contact with a sick person.

o   When holding sick children, place their chin on your shoulder so they will not cough in your face.

o   Wash your hands often and right way.



•                Commonly used supplements to fight the flu this season:

o   Saline nasal drops or sprays

o   Gargling with salt water

o   Mint

o   Umcka (over the counter cold and flu medicine)

o   Zinc

o   Echinacea

o   Vitamin C

o   Goldenseal

o   Elderberry

o   Ginseng

·       The best way to avoid the flu is to prevent it.

o   Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs

1.     Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw the tissue in the trash after you use it

2.     Wash your hands often with soap and water; if soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub

3.     Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth

4.     Try to avoid close contact with sick people

5.     If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone

6.     While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them