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Eugene Boy Dies from Flu

EUGENE, Ore. — Doctors confirmed a five year old boy died from the H1N1 virus.

Calandra Burgess says she took her son, Ronan, to his pediatrician when he had a 104.7 degree fever and a barking seal-like cough.
The doctor thought Ronan had a bad case of the croup.

Ronan didn’t get better and Burgess took him to the emergency room on Christmas Eve and doctors released him to go home. ┬áRonan collapsed shortly after. She took him to the emergency room, and doctors rushed him to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland.

Doctors tried to save him, but Burgess said he went without oxygen and suffered irreversible brain damage. “He enjoyed life fully and he was such a caring and loving child. To me he’s always going to be in my heart, always going to be my little man,” said Calandra Burgess, Eugene resident.

Burgess shared her story to warm others that the flu shot is not always enough.

But Lane County Public Health says it doesn’t want this death to discourage people from getting the flu shot. Officials said while this child received one dose of the vaccine, he never got the second shot.

Experts said children under eight years require two doses of the flu shot.

Health officials are reminding anyone who hasn’t already gotten a flu vaccine that it’s not too late to get vaccinated. “Typically we see a drop off of people getting the vaccine right after the holidays but really we haven’t even peaked in the flu season. Last year in Lane County the flu season peaked in late January so there’s still more to come,” said Jason Davis, Lane County Public Health spokesperson.

Officials said the current flu vaccine does cover H1N1.

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  1. Michele Thompson says:

    My prayers to this family. I met Ethan over a year ago and found out what a wonderful, caring, smart and amazing boy he is. We see each other at his school every once in awhile and he tugs on my heart every time. I would have loved to also meet his little brother. I am so sorry for this loss. Donations are also being accepted in the main office at school. These are some pretty amazing people from what I understand, and to endure these two tragedies in such a short amount of time makes it very evident that they need to know this community cares. God bless them in every possible way.

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