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7-year-old Indiana girl dies after getting the flu

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By WSBT 22

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WSBT) - The death toll among children rises as this dangerous flu season continues; a 7-year-old Indiana girl has died.

Savanna Jessie lived in Columbus, Indiana. She went to the hospital and tested positive for flu, strep and scarlet fever. The next day she was pronounced dead.

"We got news Friday that she had been sick and that he had taken her to the hospital Thursday evening. And that after they left the hospital, he took her home, put her in bed, and then found her Friday morning,” said Courtney Hargett, Savanna’s aunt.

A forensic pathologist completed an autopsy Sunday, but the final ruling on Savanna's cause of death may take up to three weeks.

Savanna's family wants to warn other parents to be careful, monitor their children very closely, and make sure they're vaccinated.

Officials say this is the worst flu season in a decade. In all, 53 children have died and hospitalizations are at their highest in nearly a decade.

In an average year, the flu sends hundreds of thousands of people to the hospital and kills tens of thousands. This year proves to be no different.

However, the flu vaccine is proving to be less effective this year. Normally the vaccine is about 60-percent effective. This year it is as little as 20-percent effective against this season's most dominant strain of flu, H3N2. However, as this New York Times article explains, it's still worth getting a flu shot.

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