The worst of the deadly US flu season is over as illnesses decline

Katharine Gallagher, 27, died on December 5, 2017, in her Tustin, California, home. 

The Boston University graduate started experiencing flu-like symptoms on Thursday night and went to the doctor on Sunday where was sent home with antibiotics.

Two days later her boyfriend came home to find her dead on the bathroom floor after she appeared to be getting better that morning .

She had caught severe acute bronchial pneumonia. 


Jonah Smith, 17, died December 29, 2017, when his heart stopped beating in the backseat of his sister’s car.

His family said he showed no flu-like symptoms except he had complained of a backache, but continued to go to work at a fast-food restaurant and see friends. 

After his death, doctors confirmed that the teen from Arizona had the flu and pneumonia and believe he may have suffered from an underlying medical condition, though he was never known to have one.  


Kyler Baughmen, 21, became sick on December 23, 2017, with a mild cough and runny nose.

The body builder celebrated Christmas and went back to work December 26, but the following day was rushed to the hospital.

He died on December 28 from kidney failure due to septic shock caused by the flu.





Jeremy Westerman, 27, fell ill with the swine flu around Christmas.

The fitness trainer had symptoms of nausea and lethargy but did not seek treatment.

His parents say he became violently ill on January 2 and went to bed with a high fever and died in his sleep.

He was one of at least 20 to die of the virus in the Dallas-Fort Worth area this flu season.


Katie Oxley Thomas, 40, of San Jose, California, died of the flu just 48 hours of falling ill. 

The mother-of-three and marathon runner’s condition declined so quickly that she was moved to intensive care, placed on life support and died all in the span of 15 hours on January 4, 2018. 

Her family said she had received her flu shot before getting sick.


Jenny Ching, 51, went to the hospital in Massachusetts with flu-like symptoms. 

After being diagnosed with the flu she developed an infection and pneumonia. 

The mother-of-two died on January 6, 2018, just a week after being diagnosed.







Jonah Rieben, four, died on January 6, 2018, just hours after first showing symptoms, making him the first child to die from the flu in Ohio this season.

The boy who loved to play with his 16 adoptive siblings was born with Noonan syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes heart defects and developmental delays. Doctors are still investigating if his condition contributed to his death.

Jonah’s older brother, who also suffers from a disorder, is in the hospital with a severe case of the flu. 


Nico Mallozzi, 10, of New Canaan in Connecticut, had been sick and bed-bound all weekend during the hockey tournament in Buffalo, New York, forcing him to miss every game. 

Eventually, he was hospitalized and diagnosed with Influenza B, which had developed into pneumonia and caused sepsis.

He died on Sunday January 14, 2018, in a Buffalo hospital.  


Zainab Momin, a third-grader of Montgomery, Alabama, died on Tuesday January 16, 2018. 

She died in hospital the day her school was closed due to snowy weather. 

More details are pending about her specific case and symptoms. 

She is the first child to die of the flu in Alabama this season. 




Amanda Franks, 38, was killed by the flu on January 17 after being diagnosed just three days prior.

The mother-of-four from New Hampshire was prescribed Tamiflu but did not take it because ‘the doctor said the side effects were a lot of times worse than the flu’.

Septic shock set in and she died in the ambulance on her way to the hospital. 




Emily Grace Muth, six, was killed by the flu on Friday January 19, 2018. 

She first fell ill on that Tuesday and went to urgent care where she received Tamiflu. 

By Friday her breathing was labored and her mother called the ambulance but they said to keep her hydrated and she would be okay within a week. 

Hours later she stopped breathing and died. 



Tandy Harmon, a 36-year-old mother-of-two in Oregon died on Friday, January 19, 2018.

She went to the hospital with flu symptoms on Wednesday, but was told to go home to rest and hydrate. 

Hours later, Harmon was back in the emergency room, where she quickly declined and had to be placed on life support by that evening.

Harmon had developed MRSA and pneumonia and died two days later. 


Lily Kershaw, 5, died of the flu on January 22 in Nebraska.

She was the first child to die of flu-related causes in the state so far this season, although there have been 21 adult fatalities so far. 

More details are pending about her specific case and symptoms. 





Dylan Winnik, 12, died of the flu on Tuesday January 23, 2018. 

He fell ill two days earlier and his parents thought he had the common cold because his symptoms were mild.

The seventh-grader died two days later. 

Dylan is the first flu death in Palm Beach County, Florida, this season.





Timothy Schell, 51, died of the flu on January 31, just days after taking a flight from his home state of Michigan to Colorado.

He suddenly developed symptoms after landing in Colorado where he and his wife, Dana, intended to spend their vacation skiing.

Schell – nicknamed ‘Smiley’  – was young at heart and always laughing, his obituary said. 





Savanna Jessie, seven, was killed by the flu on Thursday February 1, 2018. 

The first-grader was found unresponsive in her Columbus, Indiana, home the morning after.

She was taken to the hospital where she received treatment but was sent home and put to bed. 

She tested positive for influenza B, strep throat and scarlet fever at the time of her death.





Angie Barwise, a 58-year-old who beat the flu once this season, was killed by another strain of the virus on February 3, 2018.

The grandmother from Fort Worth, Texas, was diagnosed with influenza Type A three days after Christmas and recovered after being prescribed Tamiflu.

She fell ill again weeks later and was diagnosed with influenza Type B, which led to pneumonia and sepsis, killing her.




Jenna Libinsky, 24, died on February 7 in a Las Vegas hospital after coming down with the flu in late January. 

She had gone to the doctor five times in eight days after January 25, but wasn’t feeling better despite treatment.

After her death, her father Neil said that the family just thought it was a bad chest cold.  



Heather Holland, 38 died from the flu on February 11 in Weatherford, Texas.

The mother-of-two hesitated to buy the Tamiflu prescribed by her doctor because, as she told her husband, it ‘cost too much’. 

Within four days of her diagnosis, Heather’s body had gone into septic shock, a condition that ultimately killed her. 




Aaron Masterson, 12, was declared brain dead and taken off of life support on February 11.

Aaron, a middle-schooler from Huntsville, Alabama, suffered from cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder that damages the lungs and restricts the ability to breathe.

His pre-existing condition weakened his immune system, making his flu diagnosis far more severe and caused him to suffer brain damage. 

Aaron was one of more than 63 children to be killed by the flu this season.



Nevaeh Hernandez, six, died from the flu on February 12, in spite of getting vaccinated against the illness.   

The first hospital Nevaeh went to reportedly failed to diagnose the virus and sent her home with a 104 degree fever.

After her condition continued to worsen, her mother took her to another hospital where she slipped into a coma.

Her father, who is in armed services and was stationed in Germany, flew home after hearing she was in a coma but she had died by the time he arrived. 

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