MUNCIE, Ind. (WISH) — A 3-year-old girl died Monday morning of pneumonia, a complication from having the flu.
Delaware County Coroner Scott Hahn said the child tested positive for influenza A. She has been identified as Alivia Viellieux. She would have turned 4 next month.
“My heart goes out to the family. I mean that about makes me want to cry every time I hear something like that. No family should ever have to go through that,” said Roxane Brady, a Muncie mother of two.
The girl died at home after previously being hospitalized, the coroner said. An official cause of death will be released after an autopsy is completed.
Doctors tell us they are seeing more and more cases of the flu.
“It just takes a sneeze, cough, touching, touching a handle somebody else who is infected touched, so very contagious,” said Dr. Bianca Maya, a pediatrician at Meridian Health Services.
Many parents say they are doing everything they can to protect their kids from the flu.
“I do disinfectant wipes. I make sure that they wash their hands constantly. I keep on top of them, make sure that I disinfect the bathroom constantly, even the kitchen counters. Everything that I can do to keep everything clean,” Brady said.
Sometimes it’s not enough, though. Doctors said if your child gets the flu, you should watch for signs of pneumonia.
“Any child who is acutely ill and is very fatigued and not taking fluids in or not responding normally, or any child who has difficulty breathing normally… In addition, any child that seems to be worsening after the first two or three days is always one that you should take a look at,” said Dr. Michael Burt, a pediatrician at Meridian Health Services.
Doctors also said it is not too late to get a flu shot if you haven’t already.
The death comes after a 7-year-old girl in Columbus died from Influenza B and strep throat earlier in February.
There were 167 reported flu-associated deaths in Indiana this season, according to a report that recorded up through Feb. 3. An updated report is due out Friday.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated in its latest numbers that the flu is killing 4,000 people per week, meaning 1 in 10 U.S. deaths are from the flu.
Note: This story has been updated to correct the girl’s age.