Queensland mother of three Jacinta Foulds has died this week after contracting the flu.
What makes her passing so terrifying and tragic is that she was the last person you would expect to fall so ill with influenza, it would take her life.
She was just 35-years-old.
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A regular, fit, healthy person.
A busy mother, who worked in a nail salon in Toowoomba in between caring for her kids, aged seven, nine and 11.
After catching the flu two weeks ago, she contracted a secondary infection and pneumonia before passing away in the early hours of the morning on Wednesday.
As Jacinta’s family friend Susan Jordan said, “You hear that people die from the flu but you think, oh, it’s [the] elderly or they have other [health] problems. You don’t think it can kill a perfectly fit 35-year-old mum.”
The frightening truth is that in Queensland right now, we are currently in the grips of one of the deadliest flu seasons on record.
News.com.au reports that there were 43 recorded flu-related deaths for the whole of 2018 in Queensland.
So far in 2019, we’ve had 83 flu-related deaths – and we’re not even two-thirds through the year yet.
All up, across the state we have recorded more than 37,000 influenza cases so far this year, requiring 1950 hospitalisations.
Susan, who has launched a GoFundMe appeal to support Jacinta’s husband Daniel and their children, said her best friend’s shock passing had made her think twice about vaccinating against the flu.
And that’s all we can do, really: protect ourselves as best we can through immunisations, good hand hygiene and proper cough etiquette.
According to Queensland Health, only 6 in 10 Queenslanders are aware that flu is preventable. A person can also spread the flu to others 1-2 days before they become unwell, and can be infectious for up to a week.
“Getting vaccinated each year is the best protection against the flu,” they advise.
For the best protection against getting sick with influenza, you should also:
• Use a tissue when you cough or sneeze
• Stay at home from work or school if you have flu-like symptoms
• Dispose of tissues in the bin immediately
• Wash your hands thoroughly, immediately after using tissues or sneezing, with soap and water for 15 seconds.