It’s a parent’s worst nightmare: a six-year-old girl died from the flu in North Carolina last week. What makes this story especially tragic is that the family had been told earlier in the day that little girl, Emily Grace Muth, would be fine.
After showing flu-like symptoms beginning last Tuesday, “the family took her to urgent care on Thursday and they called an ambulance a day later when the girl was having trouble breathing,” according to a story on Patch. “An emergency medical technician on Friday morning said Emily had the flu” and said that she would “get even worse.” Emily’s family was told to “keep her hydrated and that she’d be OK in a week or so.”
Speaking to WTVD-TV, Emily’s mother said, “you know, they’re the medical personnel. I trust what they know. And they said she was fine.”
After returning home, Emily’s breathing difficulty increased. Sadly, she stopped breathing altogether. She died later in the day after being taken to Raleigh’s WakeMed Hospital.
This has been a notoriously bad flu season. Time reports that “thirty children have died from confirmed influenza-related causes so far this flu season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) most recent weekly report, released last Friday. The total includes deaths between Oct. 16 and Jan. 13.”
According to Time,
The current flu season is, so far, on track to be deadlier for children than the previous two. During last year’s flu season, 110 children died from the flu between November 2016 and September 2017, with 17 pediatric deaths reported through the second week of January last year. During the 2015-2016 flu season, 92 children died from the flu, with 10 child deaths by this point in the season.
Having tasted of this flu season’s bitterest result, the family of Emily Grace Muth has set up a GoFundMe page to help offset the cost of the funeral expenses. On the page, they encourage parents to make sure that their children receive the flu shot as well as getting them to the E.R. if they exhibit flu symptoms. Emily’s parents are planning on getting their 8- and 10-year-old sons vaccinated for the flu.
Reflecting on the tragic loss of her daughter, Rhonda Muth told ABC 11 that she is devastated. “How could that even happen?” she asked. “I mean one day she’s fine, you know, and I mean she had the fever and she was a little achy. Other than that, I mean, she had had the runny nose and cough like typical, you know, and then she’s gone. It’s horrible. I don’t wish this on anybody.”