- Kira Molina, 15, died of liver failure on Tuesday after coming down with the flu
- She went to the doctor last week where a rapid flu test came up negative
- On Sunday Kira was found unconscious in her home and airlifted to and Atlanta hospital where she died of liver failure two days later
- She is the first reported child flu-related death in Georgia this season
A 15-year-old girl has died of the flu days after testing negative for the virus last week.
Kira Molina became the first reported flu-related child death in Georgia this season after being found unresponsive in her home on Sunday and dying in an Atlanta hospital on Tuesday.
Reports show that the high-schooler died of liver failure after falling ill last week but testing negative for the virus, though it was later confirmed she had influenza A.
At least 37 children have died of the flu across the US this season but CDC officials believe far more cases are unreported as this deadly virus continues to devastate the US.
Kira first developed symptoms on Thursday, January 25 and went to a doctor where a rapid flu test came out negative.
There has been controversy regarding rapid flu testing kits because they have a sensitivity ranging from 50 to 70 percent, meaning that half of flu cases could come up negative, according to the CDC.
The FDA took two of the top brands off the market last month because of faulty results but physicians are still using the remaining testing kits until they run out.
Alternatives to the rapid tests take three days to determine if someone has the flu, which in some cases can be too late.
The Newnan High School student was sent home from the doctors but it is unclear if she was given medication.
According to a YouCaring fundraising page set up by the family, she began feeling better until she was found unresponsive in her home on Sunday.
Kira was taken to a hospital in Newnan and then airlifted to a hospital in Atlanta.
Coweta County Coroner Richard Hawk said that another flu test at the hospital confirmed she had influenza A.
The H3N2 strain, dubbed the ‘Aussie flu’, is the most common strain responsible for the devastating 2014 flu season.
Hawk said Kira was perfectly healthy prior to catching the flu but did not get the flu shot this season.
The vaccine is 34 percent effective against the H3N2 strain but offers more protection against the H1N1 strain and B viruses that are starting to emerge.
With two months left of flu season, the CDC is urging everyone to get their flu shot and say it is not too late.
Hawk reports that Kira died of liver failure as a complication from the flu.
Dean Jackson, public information officer with the Coweta County School System, said that there are 467 flu cases either confirmed or suspected within the school district in the month of January.
He told the Newnan Times-Herald: ‘Many of us at the school and the school system heard the news this morning (Wednesday) and were deeply saddened by it.’
The family has set up a fundraising page to help with funeral expenses.
The site reads: ‘She was like any other teenager, healthy and full of life.’
Influenza is widespread in Georgia along with every other state except for Hawaii.
Kira’s death makes her the first reported pediatric flu-related death in the state.
Last week the CDC reported that this year’s flu is getting worse despite hopes that we had passed the peak of the deadly outbreak.
Seven more pediatric flu deaths were recorded last week, bringing the total to 37 this season – but officials believe that number is a wild underestimate.
Speaking on Friday, Dr Dan Jernigan, director of the CDC’s Influenza Division, said he believes the actual pediatric death toll could be closer to 80, and predicts it will climb to around 150 by the end of March.
Schools in at least 12 states are closing to disinfect buildings and quarantine children at home.
‘Supporting one’s immune system with good rest and adequate hydration may help reduce the severity of symptoms,’ Dr Brian Secemsky, an internist at One Medical in San Francisco, told Daily Mail Online.
‘Washing hands often, wearing masks, and staying home from work during periods of fever can help reduce the transmission of the virus,’ he added.
Source: Daily Mail UK
Featured Image: Patch
Inset Image: Getty Images