A father in Texas diagnosed with the flu was forced to have both of his feet amputated due to complications.
Brian Herndon, 51, was diagnosed with the flu on Jan. 4, but after he began having trouble to breathe, he was admitted to a Fort Worth hospital the following day, where he was diagnosed with pneumonia WFAA reports. After going into septic shock, he was airlifted to Baylor Hospital in Dallas.
“One minute you’ve got the flu and the next minute you’re septic,” Herndon said.
The septic shock caused blood clots to form in his extremities, forcing doctors to amputate both of his feet and lower legs just above the ankle. According to his wife, who is a nurse, Herndon will also likely lose most of his fingers. His family has set up a GoFundMe in order to raise money for his prosthetics.
Herndon’s ordeal comes as acting CDC director Dr. Anne Schuchat declared this year’s flu season to be the worst since the 2009 Swine Flu outbreak. The flu has already claimed the lives of some 53 children and has caused hospitals across the U.S. to experience a 40% increase in flu patients, with California being one of the worst-hit states. Overall, however, the western part of the country is finally beginning to see some relief. Eastern states are continuing to see higher rates of hospitalization.
New research from Canada, however, has revealed that this year’s flu vaccine is 14% less effective than originally thought, meaning that it is just 20% effective against the dominant H3N2 strain.
“That means people who were vaccinated should not consider themselves invincible for this season,” said lead researcher Dr. Danuta Skowronski, an infectious diseases expert at the BC Center for Disease Control.
Still, the CDC is urging people to get the vaccine, stating that even though the flu shot is not 100 percent effective, it can still lessen the chance that someone catches it by 10% to 60%.