AUSTRALIA’S killer flu season is claiming the lives of healthy, fit, young people and a beautiful 18-year-old woman from Queensland is tragically the latest victim.
The 18-year-old started to show normal flu-like symptoms — a sore throat and a runny nose — while on holidays with her boyfriend recently.
But just five days later she was admitted to intensive care where she fell into a coma and never woke up, The Courier Mail reports.
Maddy developed sepsis — organ failure caused by her body’s response to a joint attack of the flu and a bacterial infection.
“The doctors have explained to us that everyone in the family could have got the same thing but everyone would react to it differently,” Maddy’s father Damian Jones told The Courier Mail.
“The problem is the symptoms are just cold and flu type symptoms and different people react differently to the bacteria.”
Her family and friends have paid tribute to her memory, saying the law and business student was a massive animal lover.
“She was very funny, beautiful and very smart and she loved animals,” Maddy’s mum Danielle Nielsen said.
“She was a good girl and a good daughter, very dedicated and organised and very motherly to her twin brothers Nathan and Lachlan and everyone else in the family.
“Maddy was also very independent, very strong willed, very determined and that’s why she was going to make a great lawyer.”
Maddy’s death is the latest in a string of tragedies to hit the eastern states.
Nathan Brown, 19, died from complications from influenza A earlier this month after his organs began to shut down four weeks ago and he was put in a medically-induced coma.
The teenager from Lake Macquarie, NSW had been on life support battling acute pneumonia, staph infection, collapsed lungs, kidney failure, and fluid in his heart as a result of the influenza virus.
Canberra mother-of-two Jennifer Thew died last month from acute respiratory distress syndrome after contracting the flu.
Ms Thew, who worked as a medical receptionist in Canberra, had been vaccinated against the flu.
It is understood her seven-year-old daughter had also been unwell with the virus.
Rosie Andersen, 8, died last month just days after falling ill with the flu.
Rosie’s father Christian Brealey said she had been sick for a few days, but the family just believed she was suffering from a bad cold.
“Never in my worst dreams did I think it would end up like this,” he said in a statement.
He broke the news of Rosie’s sudden death by telling friends to “raise a glass guys”.
“I lost my beautiful princess today to influenza ... Went into cardiac arrest this morning around 9.30, by 12.00 she was gone and told there was nothing they could do. Can’t believe we lost her to something like the flu.”
Health experts say this is Australia’s worst flu outbreak thanks to a particularly nasty strain,
More than 137,500 cases of flu have been reported so far this year including a record breaking 30,000 cases in August.
That’s more than double the 53,159 cases confirmed by this time last year and more than the total 83,092 cases confirmed by the end of the flu season in 2016.
“I’m confident this is not just the biggest on record but the largest flu outbreak we’ve seen for some time,” Immunisation Coalition chairman Professor Paul Van Buynder said.