A 15-year-old girl has died of liver failure after complications from the flu, according to the coroner in Coweta County, Georgia.
Kira Molina died Tuesday at a hospital after she had been sick with flu-related symptoms for less than a week, according to Atlanta television station WGCL.
The coroner, Richard Hawk, spoke about the girl’s death at a news conference Wednesday. He told reporters the girl had initially tested negative for the flu after developing symptoms last week and being taken to a clinic, according to WSB, another Atlanta TV station.
On Sunday, Kira’s parents found their daughter unresponsive and rushed her to a local hospital. From there, she was flown to a children’s hospital in Atlanta.
Her condition never improved, and she died Tuesday, according to Hawk.
A YouCaring fundraising page set up to pay for the teen’s funeral described the teen as “healthy and full of life” before she developed symptoms last Thursday.
“It’s such a tragic death,” Hawk said. “I encourage other people to go get your flu shots.”
According to the latest report from the state’s Department of Public Health, there have been 25 flu-related deaths in Georgia, and according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 37 children have died of the flu this season.
Molina was a student at Newnan High School, and the Coweta County school district issued the following statement in the wake of her death:
We heard the news about this student this morning, and we are very saddened for this family. School administration and district staff were on hand at the school today to be available for students and staff, and additional counseling staff are on standby if necessary,
Like all communities across Georgia and the nation, we are seeing a more intense flu season this year than we have in most recent years. This is true in our schools as well, and Coweta County schools have followed several precautions throughout this flu season.
All of our schools have nurses on staff that can respond to student or staff illness. In addition to clinic visits, school nurses also monitor illnesses school by school, and system nurses monitor system-wide reports and trends of flu or flu-like illness in schools.
Also during flu season, our schools and school nurses communicate with students, staff and parents, based on guidance from the CDC and our District 4 Georgia Public Health officials. We sent a letter to parents earlier this week from District 4 Public Health, which is attached. School communications emphasize precautions during flu season, such as hand-washing, identifying flu symptoms, and how to respond to those to minimize the spread of illness in our schools.
Our schools are cleaned daily, and during flu season we intensify those efforts with additional cleaning based on illness-related tracking.
Coweta County schools also sent out a letter from the Department of Public Health outlining symptoms and tips to prevent the spread of the virus.