American mother of two dies suddenly of ‘one in a million case of flu’.
Price Meropol McMahon, 36, of Wellesley, Mass., had no known health problems, according to her family, and had even run nearly 8 miles in the days before her death in preparation for her first-ever Boston Marathon.
McMahon, who was remembered as a family woman and accomplished athlete, developed a fever on December 19 and was taken to hospital the following morning struggling to breathe.
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She died in hospital on December 20, leaving her family to mourn just days before Christmas.
McMahon’s oldest brother, Ian Meropol, told the Boston Globe that he will always remember the doctor’s words to him: “This is a one in a million case of the flu.”
The exact strain of flu McMahon suffered from and the complications she experienced were not disclosed.
Her family said she had no underlying health problems and was incredibly active. She enjoyed skiing and playing tennis, and while next year’s Boston Marathon was to be her first, she had previously completed the New York City Marathon in under four hours.
“She was always incredibly smart, hardworking, driven, everyone knew she was going to be successful,” her brother said.
McMahon leaves behind her husband of nine years, Jimmy, and their children Rosie, seven, and James, five.
The family has set up a GoFundMe to help them cope with the “unexpected” loss. It has raised $240,000 as of Saturday.
“Price was a loyal friend, loving daughter, sister and aunt, but nothing compared to the love she had for her husband Jimmy and children Rosie and James,” the collection’s description reads.
In her final days, McMahon, an American Express and Burberry executive, celebrated Hanukkah with her family and cheered on Argentina in the World Cup final.
Flu cases are on the rise
Influenza (flu) is a highly contagious disease and is usually prevented by vaccination and treated by managing symptoms.
Influenza is spread through the body fluids of infected people and symptoms include fever, body aches, runny nose and sore throat.
“Influenza can affect anyone, but it is particularly serious for infants, young children, pregnant women, people with underlying health conditions and the elderly,” says the Australian Department of Health.
“The flu is caused by the flu virus. There are many different strains and they can change every year.’
Australia had its worst May on record for flu cases in 2022, prompting experts to warn the season will redefine what it means to be prepared for the virus.
Countries that are currently in the middle of winter, such as England, Canada and the United States, are currently experiencing an increase in flu cases, as well as increased hospitalizations in many areas.
Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly told the ABC earlier this month that “we will learn a lot from the Northern Hemisphere winter”.
Kelly said other countries have seen increases in cases of COVID, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
Australia has seen an increase in these three diseases in our winter as well, he said, and we will monitor data from other countries regarding vaccinations and time periods since previous vaccines.
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