BOSTON (CBS) — After a teenager from Worcester County died from a strain of Influenza B this week, Joseph Zenus talked to WBZ-TV about his 12-year-old grandson Aaron who died from the flu last year. He was the first of four pediatric cases in the state.
“Even today, we still don’t believe that he’s gone,” Zenus said.
His grandfather called him a 50-pound giant full of love and life. He said Aaron was a health boy when he suddenly became ill.
“That’s the befuddling this about it. How does it happen if you do everything according to how you’re supposed to do?” Zenus said. “Flu shots, the whole bit. We did everything we could do.”
Doctors said Influenza B usually arrives later during the flu season. Boston Children’s Hospital doctor Mark Waltzman said the flu vaccine has not been effective against both A and B strains of the virus.
“The B strain affects children more than adults,” Waltzman said. “The vaccine is not as great for B, but is still better than nothing so we recommend it.”
News of the most recent death brought the memory of Aaron’s death back to the Zenus family. Aaron died from a bacterial infection within hours of being brought to Milford Regional Medical Center.
“It brought a lot to bear,” Zenus said. “Wow here we go again. It’s such a tragic event.”
While Massachusetts is in the midst of high flu activity, doctors are trying to calm parents and are still urging vaccinations.
“Some protection with vaccine is better than none,” Waltzman said. “It prevents serious complications if you have partial protection.”