Child Influenza Deaths this Flu Season “Harsh”

This year’s flu season is here and health experts predict it will be harsh, especially for young children. Children younger than 5 years old, and in particular those younger than 2, are at high risk of getting serious flu-related problems. Five recent child deaths blamed on the flu were reported during this 2019-2020  flu season, (which starts in October and ends in May), making the total for 27 child deaths already, according to the CDC.

Thankfully, deaths from the flu are relatively rare in children, but the CDC says that deaths are possibly underreported and close to 600 children may have died during the 2017-2018 season (187 flu-related deaths were reported). Health officials told CBS News that in their next flu report, which hasn’t been released yet, they noted that visits to emergency departments for the flu have now topped last season’s worst week.

Sadly, certain medical conditions such as the flu go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, and result in serious neurological complications and even death. Nationally-recognized child injury attorney Jeffrey Killino has handled a wide variety of medical malpractice cases, including those arising out of permanent injuries and deaths caused by a child’s illness such as influenza that was undetected due to negligence by your doctor or other health professional.

Flu Complications

Child influenza side effects may include pneumonia, brain problems, dehydration, sinus problems, and ear infections. Experts say the flu virus can also affect the eyes. On January 9, 2020 a four-year-old girl went home from the Iowa City hospital intensive care unit after a bout of flu made her brain swell. She may lose her eyesight.

Parents are advised to keep their children home if they have a fever of 100 degrees or more, and to keep kids home until the fever is gone for at least 24 hours without the use of any over-the-counter medications.

Prevention

Simply washing hands is the best way to stop or slow spreading germs. Hand sanitizer can also help. The CDC recommends the flu vaccine each year for children 6 months and older. Made from proteins found on versions of last year’s flu, it helps your body be ready to recognize and fight when you’re exposed to the real thing.

A flu shot cannot give you the flu! And health experts say that it is not too late to get the flu vaccine; it is safe, effective, and universally available. Many local health clinics offer free flu shots for adults and children without medical insurance.

The flu vaccine has been criticized due to its varying rates of effectiveness, but even in cases where the vaccine doesn’t completely prevent the flu, it can lessen the severity of the illness and the risk of serious complications, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Attorney Jeffrey Killino is not only an experienced lawyer — he is also a child advocate. When a child injury or death occurs, he has the know-how and resources to guide you through the legal process to get what you and your family are entitled to. Our experienced attorneys, paralegals, and investigators share the goal of helping injured families win the compensation they need and the justice they deserve. If your child had influenza and was permanently injured or killed due to negligence, call us today at 1-877-875-2927.

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