Flu claims the lives of Iowa toddler and Minnesota teenager

Three-year-old Ayzlee McCarthy from Iowa is the latest childhood fatality from this year’s flu season. The little girl passed away just 72 hours after complaining of pain in her leg and presenting with a fever. Though she was admitted to the hospital within 24 hours, doctors were unable to effectively combat the influenza strain that eventually claimed McCarthy’s life. Ayzlee brings the number of childhood fatalities closer to twenty, and experts caution more deaths are expected as children return to school from holiday break and are exposed to a larger pool of germs. SEE ALSO: Why this could be a deadly flu season for children “Some years are more severe and it looks like this one could be, because of the strain that’s circulating so far,” Anne O Keefe, an epidemiologist, told KMTV. And while at least 15 children have died from the flu this season so far, it is not just the very young or the very old at risk. Seventeen-year-old Shannon Zwanziger, described by those her knew her as someone who rarely became sick, came home with the flu and died one week later. Both Zwanziger and McCarthy were diagnosed with influenza type A, this year better known as the strain H3N2. “I helped her get in the bathtub, but when I saw her eyes, I said, ‘I think this is a mistake — we’ve got to get you out of here,’ ” Shannon’s mother, Gwen, told CNN on Wednesday. “She couldn’t help me get her out. So I lifted her up, and she passed away in my arms. She was such an incredible kid. She had her whole life planned out. She was living life to the fullest. If you’re going to have the perfect kid, she was it.” H3N2 is a strain of type A influenza virus. According to WebMD, there are three strains of flu: A,B and C. While all three types can cause illness in people, type A and B are typically responsible for the seasonal flu and have much more severe symptoms than type C. What sets type A apart, however, is that it can also be spread to other animals. Types B and C are only found in humans. “Flu activity is expected to continue in the coming weeks, with increases occurring especially in those states that have not yet had significant activity,” stated the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). “Nationally, the country is likely to continue to experience several more weeks of flu activity. … Most of the northeast and west of the country has yet to experience the full brunt of the flu season.” Though it is not possible to completely prevent the flu, the CDC recommends the following steps to help decrease your risk of contraction: 1. Receive the flu vaccine even though it is not considered adequate protection against H3N2. The vaccine may still help reduce flu severity. 2. Practice smart hygiene by washing your hands often, limiting contact with sick individuals, staying home if you are ill to avoid spreading sickness, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth throughout the day. 3. Take any antiviral medications your doctor prescribes. SEE ALSO: Honeysuckle tea vs. the flu and Ebola viruses Eating healthy and exercising will also help keep your immune system strong during the flu season. If you become ill, however, seek immediate medical attention. This season’s flu strikes fast, and the difference between life and death may be how fast you receive care.The post Flu claims the lives of Iowa toddler and Minnesota teenager appeared first on Voxxi.

Seventeen-year-old Shannon Zwanziger, described by those her knew her as someone who rarely became sick, came home with the flu and died one week later. (http://www.youcaring.com/other/love-for-the-zwanziger-family/275405)

Three-year-old Ayzlee McCarthy from Iowa is the latest childhood fatality from this year’s flu season. The little girl passed away just 72 hours after complaining of pain in her leg and presenting with a fever. Though she was admitted to the hospital within 24 hours, doctors were unable to effectively combat the influenza strain that eventually claimed McCarthy’s life.

Ayzlee brings the number of childhood fatalities closer to twenty, and experts caution more deaths are expected as children return to school from holiday break and are exposed to a larger pool of germs.

SEE ALSO: Why this could be a deadly flu season for children

“Some years are more severe and it looks like this one could be, because of the strain that’s circulating so far,” Anne O Keefe, an epidemiologist, told KMTV.

And while at least 15 children have died from the flu this season so far, it is not just the very young or the very old at risk. Seventeen-year-old Shannon Zwanziger, described by those her knew her as someone who rarely became sick, came home with the flu and died one week later.

Both Zwanziger and McCarthy were diagnosed with influenza type A, this year better known as the strain H3N2.

“I helped her get in the bathtub, but when I saw her eyes, I said, ‘I think this is a mistake — we’ve got to get you out of here,’ ” Shannon’s mother, Gwen, told CNN on Wednesday. “She couldn’t help me get her out. So I lifted her up, and she passed away in my arms. She was such an incredible kid. She had her whole life planned out. She was living life to the fullest. If you’re going to have the perfect kid, she was it.”

H3N2 is a strain of type A influenza virus. According to WebMD, there are three strains of flu: A,B and C. While all three types can cause illness in people, type A and B are typically responsible for the seasonal flu and have much more severe symptoms than type C. What sets type A apart, however, is that it can also be spread to other animals. Types B and C are only found in humans.

Children get sick often
If your children become sick this flu season, don’t hesitate; get the to the doctor immediately. (Shutterstock)

“Flu activity is expected to continue in the coming weeks, with increases occurring especially in those states that have not yet had significant activity,” stated the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). “Nationally, the country is likely to continue to experience several more weeks of flu activity. … Most of the northeast and west of the country has yet to experience the full brunt of the flu season.”

Though it is not possible to completely prevent the flu, the CDC recommends the following steps to help decrease your risk of contraction:

1. Receive the flu vaccine even though it is not considered adequate protection against H3N2. The vaccine may still help reduce flu severity.

2. Practice smart hygiene by washing your hands often, limiting contact with sick individuals, staying home if you are ill to avoid spreading sickness, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth throughout the day.

3. Take any antiviral medications your doctor prescribes.

SEE ALSO: Honeysuckle tea vs. the flu and Ebola viruses

Eating healthy and exercising will also help keep your immune system strong during the flu season. If you become ill, however, seek immediate medical attention. This season’s flu strikes fast, and the difference between life and death may be how fast you receive care.

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