An elementary school student who died of the flu was so sick she was rushed to the emergency department the day before but was released.
Emma Schwab, 11, was treated for influenza B at Noosa Hospital on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast on July 5 but returned home.
Her condition then worsened to the point that paramedics were called the next day, the Courier Mail reported.
Multiple ambulance crews including critical care paramedics attended the home and rushed him to Gold Coast University Hospital where he tragically died on July 6.
A Gold Coast University Hospital spokesman would not comment on specifics but said it was ‘heartbreaking’ and trained staff were supporting Emma’s devastated parents Cameron and Javira Schwab.
Noosa Hospital is run by Ramsay Healthcare with a spokesperson telling the newspaper they have reached out to the family.
‘We extend our deepest condolences to the patient’s family and loved ones; We have reached out to the family to offer our support at this very difficult time.’
Emma Schwab (pictured), 11, from Noosa on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, died last Thursday after contracting influenza B.
Emma took pictures with her mother Zavira and went home after being discharged from the hospital
Flu cases are on the rise this season in Australia, with the highest numbers among children.
From January 1 to June 25, 116,473 flu-related notifications were made to the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS) in Australia, the Department of Health said.
‘Since seasonal surveillance began in April 2023, there have been 1,236 sentinel hospitalizations with influenza, of which 80 or 6.5 percent were directly admitted to the ICU.’
‘On a year-to-date basis, notification rates are highest among those aged 05-09, followed by those aged 0-04 and 10-14.’
In NSW alone, where those aged 16 and under represented 54 per cent of all emergency department admissions for influenza-like illness last week, NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant characterized the spike as ‘concerning’.
‘In recent weeks we have seen the fastest rise in influenza cases among very young children as well as five to 16-year-olds, with these two age groups often accounting for almost half of all flu cases diagnosed in NSW each week,’ Dr Chant said.
‘Sadly, our children’s hospitals are seeing an increasing number of these children being admitted for care and some of these patients are seriously ill.
Dr. Chant urged parents to get their children vaccinated against the flu to reduce the risk of hospitalization.
NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant has urged parents to get their children vaccinated against the flu
Since May, 16 children have been admitted to intensive care in NSW with life-threatening complications from influenza at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, Children’s Hospital of Westmead and John Hunter Hospital.
Doctors say this can include serious heart, brain and muscle complications.
A GoFundMe page, set up by a friend of Emma Schwab’s parents to cover her funeral expenses, has raised nearly $9,000.
GoFundMe organizer Mel Horton wrote, ‘Emma tragically passed away from Influenza B on Thursday.
‘She was only 11 years old. It is understood that the family is broken.’
Emma’s death comes after a teenage girl from the Central Coast also died from influenza B.
A Central Coast teenager also died of influenza. The Year 9 student attended St Joseph’s Catholic College in East Gosford (pictured) and died at the weekend after contracting the disease a few weeks ago.
The Year 9 student attended St Joseph’s Catholic College in East Gosford and died at the weekend after contracting the disease a few weeks ago.
According to ABC, parents with children at the school received a letter informing them of the girl’s tragic death.
“(She) was a good student, considerate of the needs of others, a true friend and a valued member of our college community,” the letter said.