'Perfectly Healthy' Teen Dies Suddenly of Liver Failure Due to the Flu

A Georgia teen died of the flu just days after beginning to feel sick.

Kira Molina, 15, of Newnan, Georgia, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 30, just days after testing negative for influenza, PEOPLE reports.

Molina began feeling sick on Thursday, Jan. 25 and was taken to a local hospital where she tested negative for the flu. While she began to feel better over the course of the following days, her health took a sudden turn on Sunday, Jan. 28.

"Monday morning, they couldn't wake her up. Her liver started failing with the flu. The flu was causing her organs to shut down…they were hoping a liver transplant would give her a fighting chance. They just needed her to stabilize, and she never did," said Molina's cousin, Nikki Guinn. "It was backwards and forwards of her heart wanting to stop. Her body couldn't fight it until she just gave up. Her body couldn't take it anymore and she passed away."

Coweta County Coroner Richard Hawk, who confirmed that Molina passed away from liver failure due to influenza A on Monday, said that the teen had likely taken a rapid flu test during her first hospital visit. Rapid flu tests are said to be only 63% accurate and can result in a false negative.

Molina's death isn't the first this flu season, which has proven to be deadly. A 27-year-old California woman, Katharine Gallagher, passed away in December, and a 21-year-old body builder from Pennsylvania died of organ failure due to septic shock caused by the flu that same month. Single mother of two Tandy Harmon, 36, of Gresham, Oregon passed away on Jan. 19 after being diagnosed.

The flu has also claimed the lives of several children, with 7-year-old Kevin Baynes of Pittsylvania County, Virginia passing away on Jan. 29, just two days after being diagnosed with influenza, and a 12-year-old Michigan boy dying of the flu on Jan. 11 after testing negative for influenza.


The CDC has categorized the 2017 to 2018 flu season as "moderately severe," with a warning that it could get worse. They are urging the American people to get the flu vaccine, but warns that it only reduces the chances of contracting the virus by 10% to 60%. Furthermore, they point out that the more people who get vaccinated, the lower the risk to the community as a whole.