Posted: January 09, 2018
By Crystal Bonvillian, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
VISALIA, Calif. —
A 12-year-old California girl is dead after being misdiagnosed with the flu, according to her family.
Alyssa Alcaraz, of Visalia, died Dec. 17 of cardiac arrest, which was brought on by septic shock from a strep infection in her blood, KFSN in Fresno reported.
The preteen’s family told the news station that she came home from school one day with what appeared to be food poisoning. A trip to the doctor resulted instead in a flu diagnosis.
When Alyssa did not get better after several days of rest at home, her mother again took her to an urgent care clinic. When the doctor there saw that her oxygen levels were low, she was rushed to a hospital, KFSN reported.
Alyssa’s organs began shutting down within hours, and she later died.
Family members mourned the girl on social media.
“Please continue to pray for me. My baby went to be with her God and her Grandma Rachel,” Alyssa’s father, Jeremy Alcaraz, wrote on Facebook the day after she died. “I’m so torn right now, it’s killing me.”
Her mother, Keila Lino, wrote on Christmas Day that the family visited Alyssa’s favorite spot, bringing along some of the girl’s stuffed unicorns, which she took everywhere.
“Christmas won’t be the same without you,” Lino wrote. “It was your favorite holiday, and you always looked forward to it every year.”
Lino wrote earlier this week that she misses her daughter every day.
“Alyssa was a brave and strong young woman her entire life, even until her last breath of air,” her family wrote in her obituary. “(She) had a passion for music, (and) not a day went by that she wouldn’t sing her little heart out.”
“Now she’s singing with the angels.”
The Green Acres Middle School student, who enjoyed science and choir, loved cooking, baking and spending time with her family, the obituary read.
Two GoFundMe pages were established, one on behalf of Alyssa’s mother and the other on behalf of her father, to help the family pay for her funeral and burial arrangements. The two pages have raised more than $15,000.
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.
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
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.
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