COWETA COUNTY, Ga. - FOX 5 News has learned more about the Georgia teen who passed away this week while being treated for the flu.
Our news partner The New Talk 106.7 spoke with Coweta County Coroner Richard Hawk, who said the 15-year-old died from an aggressive form of flu, which degraded her liver.
"It's still being looked at. It can break the liver down. What happens is it can get into the liver," said Hawk.
Marino Molina said his daughter Kira went from seemingly healthy and totally fit to being dead in just five days. He said the initial medical check on her at a clinic showed no flu diagnosis. In fact, she appeared to snap back, temporarily feeling a bit better. That was before her father found her with absolutely no energy a couple of days ago.
The father of the Newnan High School tenth grader said they are just now realizing the full extent of their loss.
"She just loved everybody and it's rare that you get well-behaved child who just naturally loves people," her father said.
The teen was given acetaminophen to treat the flu, which is a contagious respiratory illness, spread by a virus. But, when a liver becomes degraded at an advanced stage an "oral acetaminophen," becomes detrimental to the liver, according to Hawk.
Hawk is now warning parents to closely follow medicine labels when treating children with the flu.
In the U.S., annual flu shots are recommended for everyone age 6 months or older. Health officials said this year's correctly shot targets the strains that are making Americans sick, including one causing most of the illness, a Type A H3N2 flu virus. But exactly well it is working won't be known until next month.
The same virus was the dominant flu bug last winter when the flu season wasn't so bad. It's not clear why this season - led by the same bug - is so much more intense, some experts said.
Flu is most dangerous for people over age 65, young children, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions such as asthma or heart disease. But it can kill even the young and otherwise healthy.
On average, the CDC says flu kills about 24,000 Americans each year, and last year, the toll included 105 children. So far, at least 25 Georgia residents have died of flu this season.
Anyone who wishes to donate to help the family with medical and burial expenses can do so through a YouCaring page: https://www.youcaring.com/marinomolina-1084615.