Posted: January 08, 2018
PITTSBURGH, Pa. —
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
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."
• 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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Remedies to help your child feel better
For sore throats:
Call a doctor if your child experiences these symptoms
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
"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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