Local News

Two N.C. Boys Die From Flu Complications

Posted December 15, 2003 6:35 a.m. EST

— Two more North Carolina boys have died from influenza complications, bringing the death toll to three so far in the state's flu season, health authorities said Monday.

Officials say both boys had flu symptoms for several days and appeared to be recovering, only to worsen and die suddenly.

Autopsies showed the boys died from secondary infections, one a pneumococcal infection and the other a meningococcal infection.

"Secondary infections from the flu can be quite dangerous, because the person is already in a weakened state," state health director Dr. Leah Devlin said. "If your child appears to be on the road to recovery, you still need to be on the lookout for signs of a secondary infection like pneumonia. If a child appears to be struggling for breath or they have bluish lips, you need to get him or her to the doctor quickly."

One victim was a 22-month-old Wake County boy who had been sick five days. He died Saturday at WakeMed, where he was taken Friday night when his lips turned blue and he had trouble breathing.

A 3-year-old Wilkes County boy died Friday at Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem. The child was taken to the hospital after experiencing fever, headache and a rash.

Officials said the Wake County boy had been vaccinated, but the Wilkes County victim had not been vaccinated.