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Miss. preschooler was healthy, active — before she landed in intensive care

Posted by on Oct. 12, 2009 at 12:37 PM
  • 2 Replies


Quote:

(MSNBCA 4-year-old Mississippi girl is eating Lucky Charms cereal and singing Hannah Montana songs again, three weeks after a severe swine flu infection landed her in intensive care and jeopardized the healthy preschooler’s life.

Doctors expect Isabella Ragan to recover completely from pneumonia and lung surgery, but she is an example of what scientists say are rare but possible complications of H1N1 influenza infections — and what her parents say was their worst nightmare.

"This was emotionally crazy," said Isabella's mother, Kristina Ragan, 23, of Tishomingo, Miss. “The swine flu part wasn’t that bad, but the pneumonia came on top of that and it got the best of her.”

Before Sept. 20, Isabella was a T-ball-playing tomboy with no health problems, friends and family members say. But that night, she awoke crying in pain and burning up with a fever that spiked at 105 degrees.

“She was so hot, she wanted me to take her shirt off,” Kristina Ragan recalled.

The next day, doctors tested the child for H1N1 influenza and started her on a course of Tamiflu, the antiviral drug. But the medicine made Isabella sick to her stomach, and not even Popsicles could soothe her. Two days later, she was no better, so Ragan took the girl back to the doctor.

Isabella was referred to the small local hospital, where doctors quickly realized the girl was in trouble. She was breathing rapidly and her oxygen levels were dangerously low. Soon, Isabella was on her way to Huntsville Hospital, an hour away in Alabama, where a pediatric intensive care unit was available.

When she arrived, she was a very sick little girl, Kristina Ragan recalled.  “The doctor explained it would get a lot worse before it got better,” she said.

By then, Isabella had become a prime of example of what happens when swine flu goes wrong. The vast majority of illnesses caused so far by the novel flu virus have been mild, government health officials say. But in a rare proportion of cases, previously healthy people — particularly children and young adults — have become seriously ill.

A new government analysis shows that one in four people sick enough to be hospitalized with swine flu last spring had to be admitted to intensive care units and 7 percent of them died. Half of those treated in the hospital were children or teens, which is unusual. Seasonal influenza typically strikes down elderly adults.


(article continued at link with photos)

by on Oct. 12, 2009 at 12:37 PM
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Replies (1-2):
slm047
by on Oct. 12, 2009 at 12:39 PM

that's terrible. i'm glad she'll be alright though!!

ajscarver
by on Oct. 12, 2009 at 12:44 PM

Wow that is so scary. Glad she will be ok

My cousin is in icu right now with possibly H1N1. It's so scary, her mom has it as well, but is getting better at home... She also has a 3 year old and we are just praying he doesn't get it but what are his odds...

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