Despite having gotten her flu shot, a 5-year –old Las Vegas girl succumbed to a flu infection allegedly caused by the same strain that was included in her vaccine. Her cause of death was cardiac arrest apparently resulting from a inflammation affecting her heart (and perhaps a reaction to meds she was receiving).
“She was healthy Friday. Sunday in the evening, her mother noticed that she was getting ill,” the girl’s aunt told reporters from FOX 5 VEGAS. She developed a cough and fever on Sunday and was receiving treatment with steroids and a nebulizer (presumably for asthmatic symptoms) and then collapsed on Monday and was pronounced dead on Tuesday. It all happened that fast.
According to the CDC, with 9 new cases this past week, the pediatric group death count from flu this season hit 56 (involving 23 states) and four have come from Nevada’s Clark County where this girl resided.
However, as bad as A-strain flu has been this year in children, it has been far worse in the elderly causing five to six times more hospitalizations (that we know of) and several hundreds of deaths in the elderly in all 50 states.
Pediatric deaths from flu spark a very emotional response because the children are so young and often healthy. Last year, 109 children died from flu. In typical seasons pediatric fatalities involve mostly kids who weren’t vaccinated but not this year. This flu season even children who got flu shots seem to be falling ill in much higher numbers, and that’s pretty much the same story for all age groups.
It’s largely because of three things: the “drift” involving the H3N2 virus that started back in March, the flu vaccines being rendered less effective by that mutation, and then lower-than-desired vaccination rates in all age groups—a triple “whammy” that is making this flu season “nastier than most.”