Health

'Healthy' Iowa Children Get Flu Shots, Die From Flu, Parents Stumped

| by Michael Allen
Flu Vaccine.Flu Vaccine.

Three children have died in Iowa from the flu since November 2014, and at least two of them had gotten flu shots.

Amber Gray, 14, came down with flulike symptoms on Dec. 21, 2014, in Redfield, Iowa.

“She was completely healthy, nothing wrong with her," Gray's uncle Adam Broman told WHOTV. "Yeah, just a healthy typical 14-year-old girl which kinda makes what happens to her that much more shocking.”

“My sister and brother-in-law took her to the urgent care on Monday night thinking that maybe she had strep, but she did not have strep,” added Broman. “The next morning, she was a lot sicker, had a temperature of 105, very quickly was complaining of shortness of breath and was taken to her clinic in Redfield and was immediately taken by ambulance to Mercy (Hospital) where she was put on a ventilator.”

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Gray died five days later from pneumonia and sepsis, which are complications from influenza A.

Ayzlee McCarthy, 3, also came down with the flu in Elk Horn, Iowa, on Dec. 27.

"She was healthy. She had a flu shot," her mother Amber McCarthy told the Des Moines Register. "The whole thing is so unreal."

Amber took her daughter to a local clinic, which gave her some medication and sent her home.

"She tested positive for both A and B" types of influenza," added Amber. "I never in a million years thought that was what we'd be at the clinic for."

Amber took Ayzlee to a local hospital on Dec. 28, where she was hooked up to IVs and given fluids.

"After she was hooked up to the IV, she started perking up and getting feisty," said Amber. "She tried to take her IV out, stuff like that."

However, Ayzlee was transferred to a children's hospital in Des Moines, Iowa, and died on Dec. 29, 2014.

"This shouldn't be happening in 2015," stated Amber.

While some observers are blaming the flu shots for the deaths, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned that some strains of influenza A (H3N2) have mutated and might not be affected by flu shots, which can target only certain strains of the flu, not all.

According to CNN, CDC says 43 states have had widespread flu and 21 children have died so far. States are not required to report adult deaths from the flu, but CDC estimates between 3,000 and 49,000 people die from the flu annually.

CDC urges adults and children to get vaccinated for the flu and to quickly seek medical care if they experience health problems.

Sources: CNN, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, WHOTV, Des Moines Register
Image Credit: U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Anthony Sisti