A 20-year-old woman has died from fast-acting flu

It happened several days after experiencing her first symptoms.

By Elizabeth Narins

Alani “Joie” Murrieta, a 20-year-old mother of two from Phoenix, Arizona, passed away suddenly on Tuesday, November 28 from complications linked to the flu: Her infection led to pneumonia, according to Murrieta’s aunt, Stephanie Gonzalez, who set up a GoFundMe page to cover her niece’s funeral expenses.

Stephanie told BuzzFeed News that Alani was fine when they saw each other on Thanksgiving, after which many of their family members got sick. Alani went home sick from her warehouse job the following Sunday. The next day, Alani’s sister took her to urgent care, where she was given the anti-viral medication Tamiflu, which is prescribed to treat viral flu symptoms, according to the drug maker’s website. She coughed all Monday night; on Tuesday, she woke up feeling worse and coughing up blood, according to Stephanie, who didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

According to NetDoctor:

Alongside pregnant women, influenza can be dangerous to the elderly, especially those who live in residential homes where there is more risk of contracting the virus through contact with others.

People with underlying health problems are also more likely to develop complications due to an attack of flu. Those at risk are advised to get a yearly vaccination. Consult your doctor if you have any problems or questions.

Although Alani doesn’t appear to fall into any of these categories, her family took her to A&E around 7 a.m. on Tuesday morning. An x-ray revealed a bad case of pneumonia, Stephanie told BuzzFeed News, a common bacterial infection of the lungs commonly marked by fluid build-up, according to MayoClinic.

Despite intravenous antibiotics, Alani’s condition continued to decline, and her heart stopped while being moved to the hospital’s intensive care unit. Stephanie said Alani was successfully resuscitated once, but doctors’ second try proved unsuccessful, and the 20-year-old was declared dead at 3:25 p.m. that day.

Because Alani was generally healthy and young, her family wasn’t just deeply saddened, but completely caught off guard by her death. “I still don’t understand how this happened to her so fast — she went from feeling a little sick on Sunday to going to urgent care on Monday and then being gone by Tuesday afternoon,” Stephanie told BuzzFeed News of her niece, whom she described as funny and loud.

Alani is survived by 6-month-old and 2-year-old sons. Her GoFundMe has raised more than $16,000 (£12,000) of its $18,000 (£13,500) goal since it was set up on November 29, the day after Alani’s passing.

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