This flu season is turning deadly and one family says their loved one died from the H1N1 virus.
The Lincoln family says their loved one was admitted to Adventist Medical Center with the flu in mid-December and four days later, they say, she died.
“She was my baby sister,” said Daryl Lincoln.
Daryl Lincoln has a lot of good memories of his sister Vernitta Lincoln, who was only 53 when she died.
“Vernitta was real down to earth and everybody liked her. She had no enemys,” said Daryl Lincoln.
On Dec. 19, Vernitta ended up in the hospital because of the H1N1 virus.
Daryl said Vernitta had been taking over-the-counter medications for almost two weeks but they didn’t seem to work.
One night Vernitta passed out and never regained consciousness, Daryl said.
“The doctors were saying that both lungs had pneumonia in them and that she somehow had contracted the H1N1 virus,” said Daryl.
Vernitta eventually died in the hospital.
Her family says she had other health issues in the past, like chronic asthma and a heart attack several years ago, but her family blames H1N1 for starting her most recent problems.
“This being so close to me with it being my sister, it has been hard and it hurts really bad,” added Daryl.
The Oregon Public Health Division reports a spike in people who’ve had to be hospitalized with the H1N1 flu.
Adventist Medical Center in southeast Portland is seeing more and more people suffering from the virus.
“A lot of them are coming through the emergency department and they’re able to go home but many of them are being admitted to the hospital,” said Carolyn Kozik, with the Adventist Medical Center.
The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention says this strain of the flu is affecting the younger population, under 65 years of age.
“So that’s a concern because these people are healthy people walking around our community and they’re thinking it won’t happen to me,” added Kozik.
Adventist Medical Center is now preparing for more H1N1 patients.
It even has a plan in place to add extra nurses and doctors if needed.
The hospital has prepared baggies that have tissues and masks for visitors who are feeling ill and hand sanitizer is in place at every entrance.
Meanwhile, Vernitta’s family says she never got her flu shot.
“I advise anyone who hasn’t had a flu shot, to get one,” added Daryl.
Doctors stress it’s not too late to get your flu shot if you haven’t gotten one already, because the peak of the flu season hits in February.
and From Michigan:
Health officials at University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor say they’re dealing with a severe outbreak of the flu.
A minimum of six people were in the intensive care unit on Thursday, as doctors dealt with what was believed to be multiple cases of H1N1, also know as “Swine Flu.”
According to Dr. Lena Napolitano, director of the University of Michigan’s Surgical Critical Care and Intensive Care units, several patients — mostly young or middle-aged — are not doing well.
“They are on very advanced life support,” Napolitano told WWJ Newsradio 950.
“There are other intensive care units — our medical ICU, our pediatric ICU — who also have other patients,” she added.” And I don’t have those exact numbers; but suffice it to say, it is a striking increase, and these patients are very, very ill.”
Napolitano said the outbreak reminds her of a similar outbreak of the H1N1 virus in 2009.
Many of the patients, she said, are in kidney failure and on continuous bedside dialysis.
“Most of them are requiring medications because their blood pressures are very low,” Napolitano said. “They’re in septic shock.”
Health officials say vaccination of high risk persons is especially important to decrease their risk of severe flu illness. People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease and people 65 years and older.
Vaccination also is important for health care workers, and other people who live with or care for high risk people to keep from spreading flu to high risk people.
Napolitano said if you’re feeling sick, stay home from work or school.