IOWA CITY, Iowa (CNN) – A four-year-old girl from eastern Iowa is lucky to be alive after battling a life-threatening case of the flu, but the illness has left her blind. Doctors say it could be permanent.
Jade Delecia was life-flighted to the Children’s Hospital at the University of Iowa the day before Christmas.
She was diagnosed with Influenza B, a strain of the flu that’s been spreading across the country. and experts say- the most vulnerable to it are children.
“Influenza B is activating her own immune system, to start attacking her own organs, specifically the brain and causing brain swelling,” said Dr. Aditya Badheka.
After two weeks on a ventilator, Jade finally woke up, but the flu caused inflammation in her brain causing her to lose her eyesight, a side effect doctors say may be permanent.
Her mom says both Jade and her sister received a flu shot last March. She thought that shot was good for an entire year. She didn’t realize she needed to get the girls vaccinated again for the new 2019-2020 flu season.