Thursday, May 25, 2017
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Medical

7-year-old with the flu who died had heart defect

Underlying disorder was found to be cause of death

WAUSEON — A 7-year-old Fulton County girl diagnosed with the flu who died Tuesday also had an underlying congenital heart defect, the Lucas County Coroner’s Office said.

While Ava Coronado did test positive for influenza, the heart defect was the cause of death, said Dr. Diane Scala-Barnett, Lucas County chief deputy coroner. The flu may have been a contributing factor, she added.

The girl was in treatment at a hospital after officials learned she had influenza, said Kim Cupp, health commissioner in Fulton County. Ms. Cupp said although she could not confirm the child died from the flu, this was the first such pediatric death in the county since at least 2005. The girl was a student at Wauseon Primary School.

Since October, 16 people have been hospitalized for flu-associated illnesses in Fulton County, Ms. Cupp said.

Health officials remind residents to frequently wash their hands and get a flu shot. Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, and headaches. They urge those with severe symptoms to seek medical assistance.

In mid-January, the Ohio Department of Health announced influenza had become “widespread” this season, with the east central part of the state hardest hit. In northwest Ohio, health officials say the season has been typical or milder than recent years, though still encourage people to get a flu shot.

The Wood County Health District reported 21 hospitalizations since flu season began Oct. 1. This season has been on par with recent years, said spokesman Pat Snyder.

The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department reported 50 flu-related hospitalizations for the 2016-17 season through Jan. 28, compared with a five-year average of 85.4 hospitalizations during the same period.

Of those hospitalized this season, 53 percent were 65 years or older and 43 percent were adults 18-64. Only 2 percent of hospitalizations were for adolescents 13-17 and 2 percent for children 6-12 years old. No child 2 years or younger has been reported hospitalized for flu-related illness this year in the county. No deaths have been reported in Lucas County this year.

The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department offers a walk-in flu shot clinic 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays at its downtown location, 635 N. Erie St. Shots are $30, and all insurance is accepted.

The health department’s ‘Shots 4 Tots N Teens’ program has a clinic 8:30-11 a.m. and 1-3:30 p.m. today. Parents are required to bring the child’s immunization record, insurance card, and the parent’s identification card. No child will be turned away for an inability to pay.

Staff writer Lauren Lindstrom contributed to this report.

Contact Ryan Dunn at: rdunn@theblade.com, 419-724-6095, or on Twitter @rdunnblade.

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