If you think you are safe from flue because you are not a child anymore or an old person? Think again. Being young and without any history of any illness does not exempt you from flu virus. A 26 year-old’s death is a sober reminder of this. Katie McQuestion, a newly wed succumb to flu virus infection. She just got married last September.
She started to show symptoms of flu on Monday and died of sepsis on Friday, her mom told ABC News.
Four days, that’s how lethal the flu virus is.
“Someone can look good one day and not look good the next day,” said Dr. Frank Esper an infectious diseases expert at UH Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. “Anyone can get really sick from the flu and anyone can die from the flu.”
The flu season is still raging and there’s no end in sight yet. Despite CDC’s pronouncements the flu season is now on the down trend, it just keeps on going and spreading some more. Health officials expect “a huge volume” of flu cases across the US, Esper said. There’s no danger for most of those who are infected, but “a few percentage” will suffer serious and life and death situation.
According local news reports, the situation in Nevada is getting out of hand as hospitals are jam-packed with flu patients. Public health officials are begging people without emergencies to go somewhere else and seek help there.
“Most people who die from complications of the flu tend to die of pneumonia, an infection in the lungs”, Esper noted.
“Influenza basically opens the back door for other germs to cause really bad diseases,” he said. “Your immune system is all focused on fighting off influenza that a germ like staph or strep sneaks in through the back door and causes really, really bad pneumonia or can get into the blood and cause sepsis.”
In 2010, around 53,826 people died of flu and pneumonia, According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Some existing health conditions may put you at risk of getting serious bout of influenza such if you have immunity related illnesses, if you are asthmatic, either very young or very old, you should seek treatment as right away if you feel you are going down with flu, Esper explained. Your doctor can prescribe antiviral drugs for you that will keep your sickness from getting serious, Esper added.
If you feel the following and you are not suffering from any other illness, it’s time to call your doctor:
- Difficulty in breathing or breathing becomes painful.
- Inability to keep fluids down.
- Blood is present in your phlegm as result of your coughing.
- Inability to think clearly and you have difficulty in talking.
- You are too weak even to stand up.