Flu could be deadly for healthy children, CDC says - WKRN News 2

Flu could be deadly for healthy children, CDC says

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

With cold and flu season upon us, new information says healthy children who contract the flu may develop an even more severe illness or possibly die.

Dr. William Shaffner at Vanderbilt University Medical Center told News 2 new research involving 830 healthy children from 2004 to 2012 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is startling.

Of the children involved in the research, 43% of them died after contracting the flu.

"The CDC report emphasizes even normal, healthy children and indeed normal, healthy adults if struck by the flu could be put into the hospital severely ill within 48 hours," he said. "It can cause very severe illness and we can't always predict it so if a healthy child can be carried away by influenza that's a tragedy."

While it seems unbelievable that influenza can be deadly for any otherwise healthy person, Dr. Shaffner said it is what the flu can become that can be fatal.

"You can get complications of pneumonia in your lung that can be serious enough to require hospitalization," he said, adding, "You can get complicating bacterial infections of course it can be severe enough it can carry you away it can kill you."

According to Shaffner, most of the children in the CDC study, had one thing in common- many had not received a flu shot.

"Of those cases virtually none had received vaccine before. Think of how awful their parents feel," he said.

Shaffner said children under nine years old receive the flu shot in two doses.

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