Boy dies of flu, Chief says

Port Isabel-South Padre Press

January 1, 2015

The flu virus is the suspected cause of the death of a 4 year old boy in Port Isabel this past weekend. According to documents, the mother of the child, Nancy Ceballos Perez, got up around 4 a.m. this past Saturday to check up on her son who was found “cold, had limited breathing, and noticed that the child was non-responsive.” Port Isabel and EMS were dispatched to the 300 block of Beacon Bay Drive shortly after and made contact with Perez and Ralph Martinez Jr. who explained the fever-like illness to medics before the child was transported to the Valley Regional Hospital in Brownsville. JP Bennie Ochoa pronounced the young boy dead at the hospital and an autopsy was ordered.

After both parents were interviewed at the hospital by PI Police Detectives it was discovered that the child had experienced the symptoms for four to five days, during which his state was diagnosed as early stages of Influenza by the PI Health Clinic where he was initially taken. The boy’s state did not improve over several days despite prescribed medication. A second visit to the Valley Day and Night Clinic in Brownsville sent the boy home with additional medication.

The flu virus, which is peaking earlier than in past seasons, has been particularly vigorous this year and children have been especially vulnerable. In Minnesota, three children have died already and six have died in Tennessee this season, with hundreds of others in intensive care. The Center for Disease and Prevention (CDP) has officially declared the outbreak an epidemic as this year’s vaccine hasn’t been as nearly effective as hoped against this season’s strain of the virus, but doctors still highly encourage everyone to receive a flu shot. The virus is capable of entering the brain through the blood stream causing shortness of breath and prolonged and severe fever-like symptoms and the body may overreact to the incursion by sending masses of white blood cells to drown out the lung’s infection causing severe impairment.

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