Two Children’s Mercy patients die of flu

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Children's Mercy Hospital says two patients have died of the flu. The hospital did not say when, only that the deaths occurred in the last two months.  No names or ages were released.

The Kansas City, Missouri Health Department tells FOX 4 it has received only one report of a pediatric death from the flu.  Children's Mercy sees patients up to age 21, so it's possible the other death was in someone aged 18 to 21.

Dr. Robyn Livingston, medical director of infection prevention and control at Children's Mercy, says young people most likely to die of the flu are those with underlying medical conditions, namely respiratory or neurological diseases.  But she emphasizes that even healthy people die from flu.  She adds that if your child develops difficulty breathing, you need to get medical help quickly.

"The second situation would be maybe four to 14 days after your child gets the flu, sometimes they get fever again and can develop secondary bacterial infections, the most common being pneumonia and respiratory difficulty.  Again, if that should happen, you should seek medical help immediately," said Dr. Livingston.

She says Children's Mercy currently has three flu patients in the intensive care unit, and even though cases overall have dropped in the last few weeks, we could still have another peak.  She says it's not too late to get vaccinated.  The vaccine is only 23 percent effective this year, but still, she says, it's much better than nothing.

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