Life Threatening Flu Strain

Doctors are warning families this year about a potentially life threatening flu strain.  Mayo Clinic infectious diseases physician Dr. Pritish Tosh explains that this year’s strain of flu can be fatal for even healthy children.  The virus works by entering the blood stream first and eventually the brain, resulting in symptoms such as shortness of breath and a very high fever.  The body may then overcompensate by sending white blood cells into the lungs, resulting in serious complications.  Three children in Minnesota have died due to complications from the virus, with another seven currently in the ICU according to the Minnesota Health Department.  Nationwide, the total deaths for children from this flu is reported to be 15.

This particular strain of flu, H3N2, has accounted for approximately 90% of flu cases this year, according to the CDC.  And while this year’s flu vaccine does not appear to match this particular strain, doctors are advising that patients, especially those in high-risk groups, continue to get the flu shot as some cross-protection may occur

Dr. Steven Lipsky

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