Mother, 36, dies of flu in ‘one in a million’ case

A young woman from Boston, Massachusetts, died of influenza despite having no underlying health conditions, which doctors have called a ‘one in a million’ case.

Bryce Meripole McMahon, 36, of Wellesley, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston, died last Tuesday of the flu. Only two days ago she felt fine – before her condition rapidly deteriorated on Monday.

The flu is most dangerous for young children and the elderly, with those in-between being relatively safe if they don’t have any underlying health conditions.

The annual virus has resurfaced this year after being dormant for most of the Covid pandemic. Experts have called this flu season the worst since the 2009 swine flu pandemic.

Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that America’s year-end “triple pandemic” of influenza, Covid and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) may soon be over.

Bryce Meripul McMahon (left), 36, of Wellesley, Massachusetts died of influenza on Dec. 20. She was a healthy woman with no underlying conditions, and was even training for a marathon. Doctors described her condition as “one in a million.”

“She was always incredibly smart, hard-working, and driven, and she was the one that everybody knew was going to be successful,” Price’s brother, Ian Mieropol, told The Boston Globe.

Mrs. McMahon was in great shape and led a very active life. Her family told The Globe that she played tennis, skied, and even completed the New York City Marathon.

The woman, who previously worked as an executive at American Express and Burberry, was training to run the Boston Marathon in April.

She spent Sunday, December 18, at her parents’ home, as the family gathered to watch Argentina’s victory in the 2022 World Cup Final and celebrate Hanukkah.

On Monday, December 19th, she started to feel sick in the evening. Her condition quickly escalated, and she passed away on Tuesday afternoon.

“The doctor’s words, I will always remember, this is one case of influenza in a million,” said Mieropol.

Flu cases fell for the second straight week in the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, with 33,041 confirmed infections.  This is a 26 percent decrease from previous weeks

Flu cases fell for the second straight week in the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, with 33,041 confirmed infections. This is a 26 percent decrease from previous weeks

It is unclear what complications led to Ms. McMahon’s death, or if there were any factors unique to her injury that caused the rare death.

The CDC reports that as many as 35,000 Americans die from the flu each year — although the Covid pandemic has caused holes in the numbers in recent years.

The vast majority of these cases are among people over the age of 65 or under five years of age.

Other people with conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or asthma are also at increased risk, but even so, serious complications from the flu are rare.

This flu season has been uncharacteristically brutal in the United States. Two years of Covid-related mask orders and social distancing have weakened the immune systems of many and made the population more susceptible to these viruses, experts warn.

However, death from the flu is rare for a 36-year-old with enough cardiovascular health to complete a marathon.

According to the latest data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu outbreak in America may soon be over.

The agency confirmed 33,041 infections during the week ending December 17, down 26 percent on a weekly basis and the second week in a row that cases declined.

However, the troop surge left the hospitals reeling. Tamiflu, the primary drug used by hospitals to treat the flu, is hard to find in some areas of the country.

While the FDA does not officially consider the drug a nationwide shortage, regional scarcity has forced HHS to step in.

The leading US health agency announced last week that it will provide additional supplies of Tamiflu to hospitals from the country’s national stockpile.

This stockpile is a collection of medicines stockpiled by the government in case of a national emergency.

“Today we are taking action so that every jurisdiction can meet the increased demand for Tamiflu this flu season,” HHS Secretary Dr. Xavier Becerra said in a statement.

“State stocks can be used, and if jurisdictions need access to the strategic national stockpile they have now to respond to the current seasonal influenza outbreak.”

At some point this month, 80 percent of hospital beds in the United States were filled — a higher point than at any time during the Covid pandemic. Just over 70 percent of US hospital beds are currently occupied.

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