An 11-year-old New York boy has died after a severe bout of the flu sent him into cardiac arrest.
Luca Calanni, of Hamburg, contracted the virus last week and his mother, Ashley, took him to his pediatrician’s office three days in a row for treatment.
On Wednesday, after not seeing any signs of improvement, she took him to John R Oishei Children’s Hospital in Buffalo to receive fluids, reported WTKR.
It was there that Luca was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with septic shock.
His health declined rapidly before the virus attacked his heart and he went into cardiac arrest, ultimately passing away on Saturday.
His family says the tween was vaccinated – but the National Institutes of Health’s own flu expert says this year’s shot is an imperfect match for the B strain that’s been responsible for the majority of severe illnesses and deaths of children.
Luca Calanni, 11 (left and right), of Hamburg, New York, contracted the flu early last week. His mother brought him to his doctor’s office three times before taking him to the hospital on Wednesday
Doctors at Hohn R Oishei Children’s Hospital in Buffalo diagnosed Luca (pictured) with septic shock, and his condition continued to worsen
Ashley told WTKR that she doesn’t want her son to be just a ‘statistic’ and only remembered as a one of the children who died from influenza.
‘I want him to be remembered for the wonderful boy he was, and not just another flu-related death,’ she said.
‘He was vaccinated, and we did everything possible to prevent and to help him.’
Luca is the second child in New York to be taken from from their devastated families by flu during this unusually early season.
Ashley said her son was an ‘amazing brother’ to his three sisters and was a fan of the NFL team, the Buffalo Bills.
‘I would even say he was a sports expert,’ she said.
‘He could tell you the stats of every college sports player and professional. His dream was to go to Ohio State University.’
His death comes on the heels of news that flu activity is widespread in just about every US state, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Figures released on Friday show that about 4,800 people have died from the flu in the 2019-20 flu season.
The virus attacked Luca’s heart and he suffered cardiac arrest before passing away on Saturday. Pictured: Luca, far left, with his parents and three sisters
The family says they don’t want Luca (left and right) to be remembered as just ‘a statistic.’ Health experts say there is a mismatch for this year’s vaccine against the strain of the virus responsible for 21 of the 32 deaths so far
Pediatrics deaths are double what they were at this time last year, 32 – not counting Luca’s death – as of Tuesday compared to 16 in mid-January 2019.
The B/Victoria strain has been responsible for at least 21 of the 32 deaths.
Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told DailyMail.com that there is a mismatch when it comes to the vaccine and the B/Victoria strain.
He explained there is a 58 percent match for the B/Victoria strain, meaning a 58 percent chance the flu shot is matched to protect you from getting sick.
‘It doesn’t mean it’s in effective but not as effective as it would be if it was 100 percent matched,’ he said.
He also urged anyone who has not receive the flu shot yet to do so right away.
‘I would overwhelmingly enthusiastically encourage anyone who has not been vaccinated yet to get it,’ said Dr Fauci.
‘Even if some are not perfectly matched, you still get a considerable degree of protection. It is still better than not having any [protection] at all.’
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to be made to a foundation set up in Luca’s honor.
Checks can be made out to:
Luca S. Calanni Foundation
c/o Summit Wealth Management Inc
35 East Main Street
Fredonia, NY 14063