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Alabama mother dead from flu

Mother of two dies from the flu in Alabama


By Patrick Thomas

CHELSEA, Ala. (WBMA) — The flu has taken another life right here in Central Alabama.

So far 31 children have died nationwide.

The latest victim is a woman friends say was healthy except for having the flu.

ABC 33/40 spoke with friends and family who knew Katherine Acton well.

The 47-year-old mother of two is leaving hearts broken after unexpectedly dying after coming down with the flu, says her close friend Donna Mann.

"[We] keep hoping that we will wake up tomorrow and it won't be real," Mann says.

Acton's death is one of several in Shelby County this flu season.


Her boyfriend, Chuck Benzil calls her the love of his life. After dating for eight months and plans of a wedding in the fall he's now at a loss.

Benzil explains, "You can't describe the hole that you feel, the utter lack of direction."

Her circle describes her as a role model who closely watched her diet and exercise routine. Her trainer Brii Walker says, "She was the image of perfection. When she walked in the room jaws dropped."

Doctor Jordan Vaughn says some in remarkable health have immune systems that can work against them. Dr. Vaughn says, "A lot of times the biggest issue with the flu is that when you get in contact with it, your body's response to it, especially for a young healthy person can be very aggressive."

Just getting a flu shot for someone over the age of 65 decreases their mortality during that flu season. Regardless of whether they get the flu or not.

The Shelby County Coroner counts eight flu-related deaths since the start of flu season. Lina Evans tells ABC 33/40 that at least four people appeared healthy and were diagnosed.

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