A family in North Texas said a popular flu vaccination left their six-year-old daughter with bizarre and possibly life-threatening side effects.
The family, who asked not to be named by local broadcaster DFW21 News, said they asked their local physician to write a prescription for Tamiflu, an antviral medication designed to treat individuals with the flu.
Shortly after administering the treatment, however, the family from Allen, Texas said that their daughter began exhibiting alarming side effects, including hallucinations and and an attempt, they believe, to hurt herself.
‘The second story window was open, which is in her bedroom, and she used her desk to climb up onto it, and she was about to jump out the window when my wife came up and grabbed her,’ her father said.
Shortly after administering the treatment, they said that their daughter began exhibiting alarming side effects
After rushing the small child to the emergency room, a doctor informed them that in very rare cases, nervous system problems – including psychosis – could present itself in Tamiflu patients.
Dr. Glenn Hardesty, with Texas Health Prosper, told DFW21 it’s very rare but can happen.
‘Less than 1 per cent is what’s listed in the data sheet,’ he said. ‘I’ve been in practice 20 years, and I haven’t seen that particular complication.’
Dr. Glenn Hardesty (pictured), with Texas Health Prosper, explained to DFW21 that psychosis is a rare side-effect but can happen
Although the reaction is placed on the medicine’s warning list, the parents from Allen said that they wish they were consulted before administering the drug.
‘I don’t think the 16 hours of symptom relief from the flu is worth the possible side effects that we went through,’ her father said.
Hardesty advised parents to be thorough in their research before giving their children powerful medication.
‘Know that side effects are there for a reason. They’re written down for a reason. I guess they can happen, and we got the short end of the stick,’ her father said.
Many flu seasons don’t really get going until around Christmas, and don’t crescendo until February. That’s how last year’s flu season played out. This season got off to an early start and cases surged over the holidays.
In fact, new CDC data shows that this year has been especially deadly, with 20 children and more than 85 adults succumbing to the flu already this season.
While this year’s epidemic is still shy of the devastating death toll seen in 2014/2015, officials warn the rate of cases is severe, and this season looks set to be the second-worst on record.
The deadly H3N2 virus is now widespread in more than 46 states, and the rate of cases is quadruple that of previous years, and hospitalizations have doubled in the last week as the outbreak reaches its ‘peak’.
Uniquely, this year baby boomers appear to be as vulnerable to the virus as the usual victims – infants and the elderly.
Unveiling the sobering statistics on Friday morning, CDC officials insisted it is not too late to get the flu shot, despite evidence that this year’s vaccine is only 30 per cent effective against H3N2.
New CDC data shows that this year has been especially deadly, with 20 children and more than 85 adults succumbing to the flu already this season (Pictured: Allen City Hospital)
WHAT ARE THE FLU STRAINS HITTING THE US THIS YEAR?
There are many different types of flu circulating around the world, but four main types are being seen, or are set to emerge, in America this winter.
H3N2 – Dubbed ‘Aussie flu’ after it struck Australia hard last winter, this strain is more likely to affect the elderly, who do not respond well to the current vaccine. This is one of the most common strains seen so far this winter.
H1N1 – This strain – known as ‘swine flu’ – is generally more likely to hit children, who respond well to vaccination. This has been seen nearly as often as H3N2 so far this year. In the past it was only commonly caught from pigs, but that changed in 2009 when it started spreading rapidly among humans in a major global pandemic.
B / Yamagata – This is known as ‘Japanese flu’. Only people who received the ‘four strain’ vaccine – which is being slowly rolled out after it was introduced for the first time this winter – are protected against the Yamagata strain. Those who received the normal ‘three strain’ vaccine are not protected.
B / Victoria – This strain is vaccinated against in the normal ‘three strain’ vaccine, but has hardly appeared so far this winter, with just four confirmed cases.