Perth dad issues plea after his toddler becomes WA’s youngest patient to die from flu in 2023

Tragedy as healthy toddler suddenly dies after contracting the flu and going into cardiac arrest

  • Muhammed Saadiq Segaff died from Influenza A
  • He is youngest to die from flu in Western Australia this year

A family have been left devastated after their three-year-old son contracted the flu and went into cardiac arrest before dying. 

Muhammed Saadiq Segaff’s parents made the heartbreaking decision to turn off his life support in Perth Children’s Hospital on May 26, despite the desperate efforts by doctors and nurses to save his life.

The toddler was surrounded by family, some of who made the frantic dash from Singapore to say their goodbyes.

Perth toddler Muhammed Saadiq Segaf (pictured) died from the flu last month

Medical tests revealed he had contracted influenza A making him Western Australia’s youngest patient to die from the flu so far in 2023.

Muhammed was originally rushed to Fiona Stanley Hospital after he began wheezing where he underwent open heart surgery after going into cardiac arrest.

He has been remembered as a cheeky, happy and smiling little boy who loved strawberries and broccoli. 

His father Segaff Sinin broke his silence to Seven News as he issued a heartfelt message to other parents.

‘Put family over everything,’ he said. ‘I pray no-one else goes through this.’ 

Western Australia is on track for its worst flu season since 2019, when 80 deaths were recorded, including five young children.

There has been a 12 per cent increase in hospitalisations with the flu in the last week with the majority of patients aged under-10.

The state has recorded a 60 per cent spike in flu cases in the past month.

Around 10 per cent of patients admitted to Perth Children’s Hospital with flu end up in ICU, according to infectious diseases specialist Dr Chris Blyth.

He urged parents to keep a vigilant eye on their children and seek medical help if symptoms develop. 

‘Fast breathing and breathlessness is a worrying sign and in children, it can affect the brain,’ he said.

Australia could be in for its deadliest flu season since 2019. Pictured is the influenza virus

Australia could be in for its deadliest flu season since 2019. Pictured is the influenza virus

One in ten patients admitted to Perth Children's Hospital with the flu end up in intensive care

One in ten patients admitted to Perth Children’s Hospital with the flu end up in intensive care

‘So confusion or drowsiness is another important sign. Both of those things would make me want to seek medical advice.

‘In the middle of winter, our hospitals are full of people with respiratory illness but if parents think their child is much sicker than they normally are they should be seeking advice.’

Dr Blyth urged parents to get their children vaccinated against the flu.

Just 13.8 per cent of WA children aged between 6 months and five years have received a flu jab, along with 11.1 per cent of ages 5-15.

Children and seniors are eligible for free flu vaccinations until the end of June. 

‘I would not wait,’ Dr Blyth said.

More than 17,000 cases of the flu, or influenza-like illnesses, were recorded in Australia between May 15 and 28, according to Federal Department of Health and Aged Care figures.

Australia’s flu season usually lasts between April to October, however like last year, it has started earlier in March, with 57,816 cases already recorded this year.