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Posted: January 08, 2018

Family warns of dangers after 21-year-old dies of flu complications

Man Dies of Flu Complications, Family Warns of Dangers



A seemingly healthy and active 21-year-old from Pennsylvania has died of complications from the flu

"He was into physical fitness. He was going to school to be a personal trainer,” Kyler Baughman's mother, Beverly Baughman, told WPXI.

>> Read more trending news

He was working, going to school and celebrating Christmas with his family. 

"We saw him the 23rd for our family Christmas get together and we noticed he wasn't feeling well. He looked run-down and had a bit of a snotty nose,” Beverly said.

He celebrated with family again Christmas night, and returned to work Tuesday, but came home early because he wasn't feeling well.

"He kinda just laid down and went about his day and that was the day he was coughing and said his chest hurt, he had a mild cough,” said Baughman's fiancée, Olivia Marcanio. 

Within two days, Baguhman's health took a turn. He was running a fever on and off. 

On Wednesday, he went to the emergency room, then was flown to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, where he died less than 24 hours later. 

His mom said it was from complications from the flu. 

"Organ failure due to septic shock caused by influenza,” Beverly Baughman said. 

The Baughmans are now left grieving a sudden and most unexpected loss. 

They're hoping by sharing his story, it could help save someone else. 

"Try and know your body; don't let things go. Whenever you have a fever and you have it multiple days, don't let it go,” said Kyler’s father, Todd Baughman. “Get it taken care of.”

"I think he thought, ‘I just got the flu, I'll be all right, I'll go rest a little bit.’ He was always on the go. I just think he ignored it and thought it would go away like most people, and I think people need to pay more attention to their bodies," Beverly Baughman said.

Universal Vaccine Could Work On Viruses, End Annual Flu Shots



21-year-old Pennsylvania man dies of flu complications


21-year-old Pennsylvania man dies of flu complications

21-year-old Kyler Baughman from Westmoreland County, Pa. died from flu complications. Baughman was studying to be a personal trainer but suffered from organ failure shortly after falling ill. Credit: WPXI
Mother of two dies just day after flu diagnosis

Bryan Erdy/News | WHBQ

Mother of two dies just day after flu diagnosis

A young mother of two in Arizona died just one day after receiving a flu diagnosis, devastated family members said.

Alani Murrieta, 20, was diagnosed with the flu Monday and died Tuesday in the hospital, family members told KSAZ.

>> Read more trending news

Murrieta, the mother of a 2-year-old and a 6-month-old, was healthy before the sudden illness, with no pre-existing health conditions, according to family. She first experienced symptoms Sunday, when she left work early. On Monday, she went to urgent care, where she was diagnosed with the flu and sent home with medications. She was admitted to the hospital Tuesday morning as her symptoms became more severe and she was having difficulty breathing, KSAZ reported.

At the hospital, doctors performed tests and diagnosed Murrieta with pneumonia. She was placed on a ventilator, but her heart stopped. The efforts to resuscitate her were unsuccessful.

While family members said Murrieta didn't get a flu shot, early results show this year's formula may not be very effective at combatting this year's flu strains.

‘Man flu’ is real: Research says men experience worse symptoms

Don’t accuse men of overreacting when they’re sick — the “man flu” is real, according to a new study.

Dr. Kyle Sue, a clinical assistant professor in family medicine with the Memorial University of Newfoundland, published an article in the British Medical Journal contending that men seem to experience worse symptoms of cold an flu than women.

>> Read more trending news

“I searched PubMed/MedLine, EMBASE, Cochrane, CINAHL, Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar using combinations and variants of terms ‘man’/’male,’ ‘woman’/’female,’ ‘gender’/‘sex,’ ‘influenza’/‘flu,’ ‘viral,’ ‘respiratory,’ ‘common cold,’ ‘difference,’ ‘comparison,’ ‘intensive care,’” Sue said of his method of research. “I read the abstracts of all articles found and narrowed articles down by relevance. References in each article were then hand searched to ensure comprehensiveness.”

>> Related: 7 ways to prevent your child from getting the flu this season

Sue’s somewhat tongue-and-cheek study also noted that U.S. research showed men had higher rates of deaths linked to flu compared to women of the same age.

“I do think that the research does point towards men having a weaker immune response when it comes to common viral respiratory infections and the flu,” Sue told The Guardian. “This is shown in the fact that they (have) worse symptoms, they last longer, they are more likely to be hospitalized and more likely to die from it.”

In Ohio, for example, the flu seems to be impacting populations earlier than usual this year. The Ohio Department of Health said the state is above the five-year average for the number of cases reported at this time of year and “significantly higher” than the same time last year. 

Egg allergies? Now you can safely get a flu shot, experts say

According to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, everyone ages 6 months or older should receive a flu vaccine each year.

But people with severe egg allergies haven’t always been able to easily do so — until now.

>> Read more trending news 

Most administered vaccinations are manufactured using chicken eggs and they contain small amounts of egg proteins, including the protein ovalbumin. That’s why folks with egg allergies were previously advised to explore egg-free flu vaccination options or receive the vaccination with special precautions.

>> Related: Here’s why the flu vaccine was only 42 percent effective last year 

But a new paper published Tuesday in the journal, “Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology,” found the flu shot is safe and recommended for people with egg allergies."When someone gets a flu shot, health care providers often ask if they are allergic to eggs," allergist and lead author Matthew Greenhawt, said in a news release. "We want health care providers and people with egg allergy to know there is no need to ask this question anymore, and no need to take any special precautions. The overwhelming evidence since 2011 has shown that a flu shot poses no greater risk to those with egg allergy than those without."

>> Related: What is the flu? 17 things to know about flu symptoms, flu shot side effects and more

• According to the new findings, those with egg allergies no longer need to:

- See an allergy specialist for the flu shot

- Get special flu shots that don't contain traces of egg

- Get longer-than-normal observation periods after the shot

>> Related: 7 ways to stop the spread of the flu

One of the primary concerns with vaccines in general is the risk of having a severe allergic reaction, which can happen with any vaccine at a rate of about one per million, no matter the vaccine or allergy, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Egg allergies are rare among adults, but affect 2 percent of American children. And young children are particularly vulnerable to the flu. 

"There are hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, and tens of thousands of deaths in the United States every year because of the flu, most of which could be prevented with a flu shot," allergist and co-author of the study, John Kelso, said.

Read more here.

Researchers say new drug could end the flu as we know it

A study last year shed light on a new drug that researchers were hoping might end the flu as we know it.

University of Washington researchers co-authored the study that was published in  the journal PLOS Pathogens.

>> Read more trending stories

The revolutionary new drug is called HB36.6. In lab studies it was a treatment for the flu, but more importantly, it seemed it could also prevent a victim from ever developing the flu.

The drug appeared to cover multiple strains of the flu. Scientists said the drug would be far more effective than Tamiflu, if the results of lab work on mice also applied to the human body. 

In the study, lab mice were given a single dose of HB36.6 via the nose. Two days later, they were injected with the 2009 strain of the H1N1 pandemic flu virus that killed more than a half million people in Asia.

The mice were completely protected and did not develop any flu symptoms.

Mice that were exposed to the H1N1 flu first were also protected with the new drug.

Researchers also found that a single dose of HB36.6 was more effective in mice than 10 doses of Tamiflu. 

Researchers believe the anti-flu drug could also work just as effectively in people with weakened immune systems.

Researchers, also at the University of Washington, now believe flu shots could be a thing of the past soon

>> Related: Universal vaccine could end annual flu shots and eventually work for other viruses, too

A new “universal” vaccine uses genetic material of the influenza virus – the part that doesn't mutate – and teaches the body to recognize it, researchers said.

The vaccine is given through “little micro injections into skin cells.”

It could mean the end of the annual flu shot, but is still five to 10 years in the future.

Tips to prevent getting colds and flu, remedies

Now is the right time for parents to take steps to protect young children from cold and flu viruses.

According to Dr. Hansa Bhargava, one of the nation’s top pediatricians, most colds and coughs go away by themselves because they are caused by viruses.

>> Read more trending stories  

Still, a healthy child may have a fever as an immune response because his immune system is fighting off the infection, she said.

“Personally, I try not to use a lot of over-the-counter drugs to treat my own children when they have colds, coughs and fever,” she said.

Bhargava offers the following tips to prevent young children from getting sick, some home remedies to try when they do and instances when you should call a doctor:

The two big weapons in keeping germs at bay are good hygiene and a flu vaccine.

  • Make regular hand-washing, especially before eating meals, routine.
  • Teach your child to sneeze or cough into a tissue or into his bent elbow instead of his hands. This will prevent him from spreading germs onto everything he touches.
  • Encourage good hygiene with sticker charts or rewards for such things as not putting their hands in their mouth.
  • Keep hand sanitizer within easy reach, but supervise younger children when using it. Older school-age kids can be given small bottles of hand sanitizer to carry with them in their backpacks.
  • If your child is over 6 months old, make sure they get a flu vaccine (kids ages 2 and older can start getting the nasal vaccine spray unless they have asthma or a very stuffy nose at the time of their doctor’s visit).

Remedies to help your child feel better

  • Get plenty of rest. Rest helps the body focus on getting well, so keep kids home from school.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Replenish liquids lost from fever, vomiting and diarrhea. Fluids also help loosen mucus.
  • Use a humidifier to keep the air in your child’s room moist which can help break up nasal and chest congestion.
  • Talk to your pediatrician about giving OTC cold and cough medicines. These medicines should not be given to children under 4.

For fever:

  • Sponge baths - using lukewarm water with a sponge. You can do this for 20-30 minutes to lower the body temperature and help your child feel better.

For colds:

  • Running the shower and then letting your child inhale the steam from it can help clear nasal congestion. For infants, using saline drops with an aspirator bulb a couple of times a day can help the baby breathe.

For coughs:

  • Use thick dark honey in kids who are over the age of 1. The thickness of the honey often calms the cough and is more effective than cough medicine in many cases.

For sore throats:

  • This is when the rules about sugar go out the window. Popsicles, ice cream and anything that is cold feels really good to children with sore throats. You can also freeze 100 percent juice and make your own popsicles.

Call a doctor if your child experiences these symptoms

  • Excessive trouble breathing
  • An earache
  • A fever greater than 101 degrees that lasts longer than 72 hours
  • A persistent cough
  • Vomiting, by itself, or after coughing
  • Swelling of the sinuses or tonsils
How to tell if someone around you is sick using subtle cues


How to tell if someone around you is sick using subtle cues

Pale lips, a downward turn of the mouth and droopy eyelids are all subtle signs of illness that humans can spot at a glance, new research suggests.

» RELATED: What is the flu? 17 things to know about flu symptoms, flu shot side effects and more

The study, which was published this week in the academic journal "Proceedings of the Royal Society B", was conducted by researchers at Stockholm University. Scientists used human subjects, injecting them first with a placebo and then with molecules from E. coli, which rapidly trigger flu-like symptoms. Two hours after each injection, they were photographed.

>> Read more trending news 

The scientists showed the images to 62 participants who were asked to determine whether the individual was sick or healthy in each photograph. Although the participants were only able to recognize a sick individual 52 percent of the time, they correctly identified healthy individuals 70 percent of the time.

» RELATED: Is ‘man flu’ real? Men may suffer harsher flu symptoms than women, doctor says

"It is well-known that we judge a number of aspects of other people," John Axelsson, co-author of the study, told TIME. "It has been proposed that potential sickness is a threat that we react to, just like many others, although it is not as a strong as if someone looks very angry."

Axelsson further explained to The Guardian that humans "use a number of facial cues" to "judge the health in other people all the time." However, he also said individuals may be better judges of the facial cues when they are concerned about their own health or a partner.

"I think it depends a bit on the context you are in, on what you are sensitive for," he said.

» RELATED: Researchers say new drug could end the flu as we know it

But the researchers didn't stop with the first experiment. A new group of 60 participants were also shown the photographs. On average, they rated individuals as appearing more sick and more tired in photos taken after they were injected with E. coli.

Closer analysis revealed that paler skin and droopier eyelids were the most reliable indicators in judging a person's illness, while swollen face, redder eyes, less glossy and less patchy skin, a more drooping mouth and paler lips were also more noticeable in the photos of sick individuals, according to the participants responses.

» RELATED: This is what 12 Diet Cokes a day can do to your body, according to Atlanta nutritionists

"These results demonstrate that untrained people can, above chance level, identify acutely sick individuals from merely observing a photo for a few seconds," the researchers wrote in their published paper. "This supports the notion that humans have the ability to detect signs of illness in an early phase after exposure to infectious stimuli."

Other scientists have welcomed the research, while also noting some limitations to the study's results.

"I am surprised," psychologist David Perrett, a researcher at the University of St Andrews in Scotland who was not involved in the study, told The Washington Post

No one had previously studied whether people can sense "experimentally induced sickness" by looking at faces, he said. "Sickness judgments turn out to be far more reliable" than other visual judgment such as, gauging someone's personality from a neutral expression.

Professor Ben Jones of the Face Research Lab at the University of Glasgow hailed the study as well.

"This study adds to growing evidence for the existence of facial cues associated with acute sickness and help us understand how, unfortunately, social stigmas about people suffering illnesses might emerge," he said.

At the same time, Dr. Carmen Lefevre of the center for behavior change at University College London cited concerns about the small sample size used in the research. Dr. Rachel McMullan of the Open University echoed those sentiments as well, suggesting the study should be replicated with a wider range of ethnic groups.

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