A six-year-old North Carolina girl is the latest child to die of the flu this season.
Emily Muth died Friday night, leaving her parents and two brothers grieving. Her mother told a local TV affiliate that she had a runny nose and cough with a fever, and then suddenly was gone.
“The flu is no joke right now,” said Emily’s father, Nathan Muth. “It’s a plague in America.”
Emily got sick Tuesday, and they took her to urgent care, which tested her for influenza. It was positive, so they gave her a Tamiflu prescription and sent her home with instructions to stay hydrated. Her fever was up and down over the next couple of days, but on Friday she stopped breathing and could not be resuscitated.
Emily had not had the influenza vaccine, though her parents are now making sure the other two children are vaccinated.
“You never think it’s going to hit home,” Muth said.
The flu is now widespread in 49 states with nearly 75,000 people infected. The federal Centers for Disease Control only tracks pediatric deaths, and so far 30 children have died, not including Emily Muth. Earlier this month, the flu killed a fourth grader from Barrington, Illinois.