Mother-of-three marathon runner, 40, becomes latest fatality in California flu epidemic as hospitals are forced to turn parking lots into makeshift treatment areas

Wednesday, January 17, 2018
By Paul Martin

Several hospitals across California are setting up giant tents in their parking lots to deal with the massive flu outbreak
Health officials said more than 40 people under the age of 65 in California have died. Last year at this time, it was nine
Hospitals have also been bringing in nurses from out of state and turning away ambulances because they have too many patients
Some facilities have been treating ill patients in the hallways while another hospital in San Jose emptied a storage area to make room for more beds
Pharmacies are selling out of medications used to treat symptoms of the virus
Experts have warned that this could be a historically bad flu season due in part to the H3N2 virus

17 January 2018

A mother-of-three marathon runner died of flu just 48 hours after falling ill.

Katie Oxley Thomas, 40, of San Jose, California, was a yoga enthusiast and runner before she died earlier this month.

Her family told ABC 7 she was taken to the emergency room at Good Samaritan Hospital and her condition declined so quickly that she was moved to intensive care, placed on life support and died that same day – all in the span of 15 hours.

According to Adrienne and Walt Oxley, Thomas’ parents, she had fallen ill 48 hours before her death. The family said they believe Thomas had received a flu shot prior to getting sick.

She is one of 42 people younger than 65 to die in California as hospitals in the state become so overcrowded with patients suffering from the flu that giant camp-like tents are being set up in parking lots.

Loma Linda University Medical Center in San Bernardino County and Palomar Medical Center Escondido in northern San Diego County are just two hospitals in the state that are turning their emergency room parking lots into makeshift treatment areas.

‘There’s a little bit of a feeling of being in the trenches,’ Michelle Gunnett, a nurse with the Southern California hospital system, told the Los Angeles Times.

‘We’re really battling these infections to try to get them under control. We’re still not sure if this is going to continue… but it certainly is an inauspicious start.’

One Redlands resident described the chaos at her area emergency room as a ‘flu war zone’.

The Rest…HERE

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