A perfectly healthy five-year-old was killed by deadly flu

A perfectly healthy five-year-old was killed by deadly flu

Swine flu, the common name for the H1N1 virus, became the center of a worldwide pandemic in 2009, killing at least 18,500 people in 214 countries

The parents of this five-year-old described their son as someone who was “never sick a day in his short life.” But when their son contracted the swine flu, the effects were devastating, and fast.

He was initially treated by a GP before being referred to Sligo Regional Hospital and transferred to Our Lady's Hospital in Crumlin, Dublin. Doctors rushed him to intensive care but his condition deteriorated and he passed away with his family by his bedside.

A pediatrician in Temple Street children's hospital confirmed they have been seeing a rise in children suffering flu since January, including youngsters who are not in an at-risk group and are healthy.

"Some children have become extremely unwell with it," he added.

Swine flu, the common name for the H1N1 virus, became the center of a worldwide pandemic in 2009, killing at least 18,500 people in 214 countries. Now it is possible to reduce the risk of contracting the illness by getting a winter vaccine.

Doctors also suggest to parents that if they want reassurance, they could get the vaccine for children over six months who are healthy.

However if the child has preexisting conditions like bronchitis or heart disease, a vaccine is a must.

Swine flu symptoms

Symptoms of swine flu are similar to other strains of the condition and include:

  • A sudden fever—a temperature of 38C (100.4F) or above
  • Tiredness
  • Aching muscles or joint pain
  • A headache
  • A runny or blocked nose
  • A dry cough

Call your GP if you have flu-like symptoms and are at a higher risk of complications of seasonal flu. This includes:

  • Children under two years old
  • Anyone over the age of 65
  • Pregnant women
  • Children and adults with an underlying health condition (particularly long-term heart or respiratory disease)
  • Children and adults with weakened immune systems
  • To reduce risk wash hands regularly with soap and warm water
  • Clean surfaces such as your keyboard, telephone and door handles regularly to get rid of germs
  • Use tissues to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
  • Put used tissues in a bin as soon as possible
  • The best remedy is to rest at home, keep warm and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration
  • Take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower a high temperature and relieve aches.
  • If further treatment is needed or complications arise, do not hesitate to seek medical attention.

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Written by

James Martinez

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