Flu Season Turns Deadly; Mother Says Son Lucky To Be Alive
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Flu season has turned deadly in Tennessee. At least 11 people have died from complications to the virus so far this season.
Health officials are now urging you to get the flu vaccine.
Tiffany Holder said her 7 year-old boy could have very easily been the 12th death. Her son is recovering in a Nashville hospital from the H1N1 strain of the virus.
Logan Morgan was hooked up to a ventilator and a machine that removed his blood, added oxygen and pumped it back into his body.
His mother said it the sickness came on very fast.
"He went from a cough to EKMO, which is a form of life support in less than 48 hours," Holder said.
It all started Christmas Day when Logan ran a fever of 101 degrees. His mother said he opened some presents and played, but then got worse.
"He fell asleep on the couch in my lab and I could hear his breathing, and I was like this is not right."
Doctors said Logan had pneumonia and was in severe respiratory distress. Paramedics rushed the little boy from Tullahoma to Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.
The treatments worked and several days later the boy was off the ventilator and breathing on his own.
Logan did not get the flu shot. His mother said everyone in the family will get one next year.
Vanderbilt University infectious disease professor Dr. William Schaffner is tracking cases in Nashville and surrounding counties. He said people die from the flu each year, but this many deaths in an eight-county area at this point in flu season is "noteworthy."
Health officials said people should get vaccinated as soon as possible.
(The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.)