"I just think he ignored it," and it cost him his life, says the mother of Kyler Baughman, a 21-year-old Pennsylvania man who died days after Christmas. The cause: "Organ failure due to septic shock caused by influenza." The flu-related death is getting outsize attention in part because of Baughman's chosen career—he was studying to be a personal trainer, is described by his mother as "into physical fitness," and frequently posted photos of himself lifting weights to Facebook, reports the Washington Post. Beverly Baughman tells WPXI he seemed rundown over the Christmas holidays and came home from work early on the 26th. She says he thought rest would be a cure-all, but by the following day he was in the ER, and on the 28th he was dead in a Pittsburgh hospital.
- His case: Dying from the flu is far from unheard of: CDC figures show 6.7% of all deaths in the US during the week ending Dec. 16 were related to pneumonia or the flu. It also notes that the flu was widespread in 46 states in the last week of 2017, with Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, and New Jersey reporting regional flu activity. But NBC 10 notes that the very young, the old, and those with fragile immune systems are most at risk; indeed, of the 18 flu deaths reported thus far in Pennsylvania for this flu season, Baughman's is the only one in the 19-49 age group.
- His family's advice: Implores dad Todd Baughman, "Try and know your body. Don't let things go. Whenever you have a fever for multiple days, don't let it go, get it taken care of."