A British mother warns others of the dangers of the flu after her 8-year-old son was hospitalized with the virus.
Janine Riley, 44, from Wadebridge, Cornwall, told Southwest News Service (SWNS) that her son Henry – whom she described as a "fit and healthy" boy who likes to play rugby – recently came home and joined complained of abdominal pain. But his symptoms worsened rapidly and developed into a high fever. The young man also had difficulty breathing, she said.
Pregnant women who are unlikely to have a virus, CDC says.
"One day he was doing well in rugby games. We put him to bed with acetaminophen and ibuprofen. The next day he was very hot [in poor condition] and fought [to breathe]. So we called an ambulance and within minutes, he was taken to the hospital, "she recalls.
Henry was taken to the intensive care unit. He also needed a respirator for three days.
Although the 8-year-old had made it out of intensive care, his fight was not over yet.
"We had many physical therapies that made him breathe again, he could not get up, he could not walk," Riley said. "In a few days he had gone over to the corridor from a healthy 8-year-old boy not sad to go down. "
Riley did not say if Henry had been vaccinated against the flu before the illness or not.
Health professionals recommend that everyone get the flu vaccine. But they especially encourage pregnant women, small children and the elderly to get their shot, as they are often the most susceptible to the virus.
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"Influenza vaccination is incredibly important as it reduces the risk of flu," said Michelle Lin, emergency medical and emergency medicine professor at Mount Sinai in New York City Fox News. "It also reduces the risk of complications and passes it on to others."
Public Health England (PHE), an executive agency of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, is offering 600,000 additional children a free flu shot at age 10-11 this year. Children aged two to eleven are also offered the nasal spray version of the vaccine, according to the Guardian.