Flu possible cause of four-year-old's death

PORT ISABEL, TEXAS (KVEO) - A four-year-old boy in Port Isabel who’d been fighting the flu for more than a week died at a hospital in Brownsville Saturday morning.

"The detectives, through their investigation found out that the child had been sick since Sunday. Parents noticed that he was ill, had a fever and they took him to the Port Isabel Health Clinic here in Port Isabel, he was diagnosed with influenza, was given medication, and they went home with the child and the medication and they started treating the child,” said Port Isabel Chief of Police Gualberto Gonzalez.

It did not end there. According to police, the child’s conditions worsened last Friday, he was taken to another clinic in Brownsville, given more medication and sent home. Less than 12 hours later the child was found unresponsive and the 911 call was made.

"I think the parents did what they knew to do as parents to try and take care of their child. I don’t see any kind of wrong in what they did, they did very good as a matter of fact,” added Gonzalez.

Though according to Cameron County’s health department, no flu deaths have been recorded so far this flu season, the number of flu cases is high and family practice physician Dr. Bruce Leibert says it exists especially in children.

"Children, because they’re exposed to so many other children in their neighborhoods and at school, and because they haven’t lived as long as an adult, they are more susceptible to all the different viruses. Only 1.4 per 100,000 people die of influenza, it’s very rare to die of influenza,” said Dr. Leibert.

Today an autopsy on the four-year-old was ordered. Police say in just a few days they’ll be able to confirm the cause of death.

Flu season runs through May of 2015. According to Dr. Leibert, it is never too late to get your flu shot. Remember to wash your hands often, if sick see a doctor as soon as possible, and stay home to avoid spreading the virus.

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