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How the Flu can Become Sepsis and Kill Unexpectedly

Illustration of the human body surrounded by a protective halo with viral particles around it to depict How the Zika Virus in Florida Might Affect You and Your Family

Having a solid health insurance plan in place is one of the best investments you can possibly make, regardless of your age or current health. Keeping yourself healthy and getting medical attention when it’s needed is extremely important, especially during flu season. Vaccinations are also an absolutely essential part of keeping yourself – and others – safe and healthy, but sometimes, even insurance and vaccination can’t save someone who’s dealt a terrible hand of cards.

Katie McQuestion appeared to be perfectly healthy, and the 26-year-old radiology technician was enjoying the first few months of her marriage when an unfortunate series of events took the life of this young and healthy young woman. Working in a hospital, she was required to be vaccinated to avoid catching the flu, but despite her best efforts to stay healthy, she became ill and began feeling unwell on December 29th of last year. What led to this crushing loss of human life?

The flu. While not an incredibly threatening illness in its tamest forms, the flu can, if left untreated, quickly evolve into pneumonia, a much more serious illness. McQuestion didn’t die of pneumonia, but from a complication sometimes caused by pneumonia called sepsis. Sepsis has a high fatality rate once it has taken hold, causing massive organ failure when pneumonia, a bacterial infection, is no longer confined to just the lungs. If pneumonia becomes serious enough to branch out, sepsis can take hold, causing a full-body infection. Nobody wants to cash in on their life insurance policy, especially at such a young age.

Sepsis is difficult to predict, and cannot be prevented by a vaccine or over-the-counter medication, so it’s very important to know how to take action and seek the help you need before it’s too late. First, and most importantly, get vaccinated. While not 100% effective, vaccinations have prevented hundreds of thousands of deaths, and they slow the spread of dangerous diseases. If you get the flu, treat it as your doctor recommends, but keep a very sharp eye out for the signs of pneumonia. Symptoms include…

– Coughing up discolored green, yellow, or reddish mucus

– Fever, chills, and dehydration

– Shortness of breath

– Excessive sweating

– Headaches or confusion

– Fatigue, low energy, or loss of appetite

If you suspect you have pneumonia, it’s time to take visit to the doctor. Simply allowing your doctor to examine and diagnose you will allow you to get the right treatment and prevent serious complications like sepsis. Denying vaccination or trying to “tough it out” drastically increases your chances of getting flu, developing pneumonia, and developing life-threatening complications like sepsis. With programs available that provide free health insurance for kids and adults alike, there are plenty of opportunities to set up safety nets and peace of mind.

We urge you to get coverage, know the symptoms above, and keep yourself and others healthy and safe this flu season. Share this article to raise awareness for the real risks present this flu season, and seek medical attention when things start seeming unusual.

How do you keep yourself disease-free during flu season? What other seemingly harmless diseases can become something worse? Share your insight in the comments section below!

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