Thursday, November 23, 2017
Health

Dade City mom, 27, dies of complications from swine flu

RECOMMENDED READING


DADE CITY — For three days last month, Holly Harrelson endured what she described as "pure misery."

"Haven't been able to keep my temp below 102.0 and I feel like I'm riding shotgun with death!" she posted Nov. 3 on her Facebook page. If by morning nothing had changed, she was headed to the hospital. "At this point I'm scared," she wrote.

The next day, the 27-year-old mother of three went to Pasco Regional Medical Center, where she died. Friends and health officials say it was from complications from the H1N1 influenza virus, commonly known as swine flu.

Harrelson got sick at a time when the county and the state reported only mild flu activity. However, the number of people seeking treatment for symptoms appeared to be on the rise, according to a week-by-week state report called "Flu Review."

One pediatric influenza-associated death has been reported in the state during the 2013-14 flu season. Currently, Florida reports "minimal" levels of flu activity.

The most common flu reported in Florida during recent weeks was the strain that Harrelson had, the H1N1. Swine flu caused a worldwide pandemic in 2009. It is now a human seasonal flu virus that also circulates in pigs.

Symptoms include a 100-degree or higher fever or a feverish feeling, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches or body aches, chills and fatigue, according to flu.gov, a U.S. Department of Health & Human Services website.

"It's rare for someone that age to succumb to the flu," said Dr. Marc Yacht, a physician and retired director of the Pasco County Health Department. However, he said underlying medical problems could weaken a person's immune system and render the virus "very dangerous."

Nationally (including Florida), almost all circulating influenza is a good match for the vaccine, according to the state health department. Health officials say it's still a good idea to get the vaccine.

"It's not too late, and the sooner the better, because it does take two weeks for flu shots to build up in the body," said Deanna Krautner, spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Health in Pasco.

No one could confirm on Thursday whether Harrelson had received the vaccine.

The daughter of Dade City police Sgt. Tim Harrelson and his wife, Kim, Harrelson graduated from Pasco High School.

She also left behind two sons, Lester and Levi, and a daughter, Jaylynn. Friends said the boys were staying with the Harrelsons while Jaylynn was with her father.

Comments
Big Tobacco’s anti-smoking ads begin after decade of delay

Big Tobacco’s anti-smoking ads begin after decade of delay

WASHINGTON — Decades after they were banned from the airwaves, Big Tobacco companies return to prime-time television this weekend — but not by choice. Under court order, the tobacco industry for the first time will be forced to advertise the deadly, ...
Published: 11/21/17

Owning dogs may be great for your heart and lower risk of death, study finds

Dog ownership correlates with lower rates of mortality and some fatal diseases, particularly cardiovascular disease, a study published this past week concluded.The study in the journal Scientific Reports found that canine ownership was associated wit...
Published: 11/19/17
New shingles vaccine touted as a breakthrough for older adults

New shingles vaccine touted as a breakthrough for older adults

Medical researchers and government health policymakers, a cautious lot, normally take pains to keep expectations modest when they’re discussing some new finding or treatment.They warn about studies’ limitations. They point out what isn’t known. They ...
Published: 11/17/17
BayCare’s HealthHub breaks ground behind Valrico shopping center

BayCare’s HealthHub breaks ground behind Valrico shopping center

VALRICO — Health care officials broke ground Thursday on the long anticipated HealthHub at Bloomingdale, which will bring about 150 jobs to an area that’s experiencing tremendous growth and provide patients with the latest in technological care.A pro...
Published: 11/16/17
Updated: 11/19/17
In Tampa Bay and elsewhere, early numbers show record sign-ups for Obamacare

In Tampa Bay and elsewhere, early numbers show record sign-ups for Obamacare

Despite the budget cuts, the attempts to repeal and replace, and reports of sharp rises in premiums, Floridians and other Americans are signing up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act at record rates this year.Enrollment has surged 47 p...
Published: 11/16/17
Updated: 11/17/17
Study: Mental quickness exercises can lower risk of dementia

Study: Mental quickness exercises can lower risk of dementia

Where did I leave my keys?As we age, it can take longer to answer a question like that.Humans begin to lose cognitive ability at age 25. Dementia, or the decline of memory most commonly seen in aging adults, takes hold early on and is gradual, but ac...
Published: 11/16/17
Making a list: holiday gift ideas for the water warrior, runner, fit foodie ...

Making a list: holiday gift ideas for the water warrior, runner, fit foodie ...

Given Santa’s legendary girth, one could justifiably question his ability to choose suitable gifts for the fitness-focused folks on his "nice" list. Dasher, Dancer and Prancer (all clearly more inclined to stay active) are always there to offer some ...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Mayo Clinic Q&A: gangrene causes and prevention; irregular bleeding

Mayo Clinic Q&A: gangrene causes and prevention; irregular bleeding

PEOPLE WITH DIABETES, PERIPHERAL ARTERY DISEASE AT INCREASED RISK OF GANGRENEI have heard that a stubbed toe can lead to gangrene in some individuals. Is that true? What are the signs of gangrene, and how can it be avoided?Gangrene, which refers to t...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/22/17
Blood pressure of 130 is the new ‘high,’ according to update of guidelines

Blood pressure of 130 is the new ‘high,’ according to update of guidelines

The nation’s heart experts tightened the guidelines for high blood pressure Monday, a change that will sharply increase the number of U.S. adults considered hypertensive in the hope that they, and their doctors, will address the deadly condition earl...
Published: 11/13/17
Are Honey Nut Cheerios healthy? A look inside the box

Are Honey Nut Cheerios healthy? A look inside the box

I had a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios recently. It had been awhile. Regular Cheerios are more my thing. But sometimes I finish my box faster than my kids do and find myself straying to their side of the cupboard.Honey Nut is America’s best-selling break...
Published: 11/11/17