By Stephanie Stahl
VOORHEES, NJ (CBS) — There are renewed warnings from local and federal health officials about what’s now being called an “especially severe” influenza season, including mounting deaths.
Forty-year-old Nicole Born, a Voorhees mother of two, died of complications from the flu. Her father tells CBS3 the whole family got sick and Nicole was busy taking care of everyone, except herself. On January 2nd, she was hospitalized with shortness of breath and a fever, and a variety of interventions failed. Camden county health confirms she died January 4th of influenza type A.
“We’ve had a few serious complications,” says Dr. P.J. Brennan Chief Medical Officer at Penn Medicine. He isn’t commenting on Born’s case, but says the flu can become deadly even for young healthy people. “It’s really an individual issue. Sometimes the flu on its own can cause a severe reaction in the immune system that cause the lungs to flood with fluids,” Dr. Brennan says.
The New Jersey Department of Health doesn’t track flu-related adult deaths, but they do monitor trends. Flu is high in most of the state, and moderate in south Jersey. Nicole’s family says she didn’t get a flu shot.
Diane McGowan’s 15-year-old son died from the flu, he hadn’t had a flu shot, which she says was a deadly mistake, “His infectious laughter, I definitely miss. Him and I had a bond.”
In addition to flu shots, health officials say Tamiflu can also help fight this flu epidemic.
Also, Delaware health officials updated the situation there. They now have 11 flu related deaths, and over 1,300 confirmed cases.
Nicole Born’s funeral is Saturday, January 10th. It’s an unusual case because the flu is usually deadly to the elderly, babies, and people who are already sick.
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