4-year-old laid to rest after sudden illness of possible bronchitis and strep

Local News

DRAPER, Utah (ABC4 News) – A 4-year-old Draper girl was laid to rest Friday afternoon after she suddenly fell ill and died last Sunday.

Delilah’s grandmother tells ABC4 News, she was taken to urgent care for a sore throat. Twenty-four hours later she was being treated for a strep throat and bronchitis and died. 

Delilah’s family is waiting for test results, but they have a lot of questions on how suddenly their child fell ill and died. It can be hard to distinguish different illnesses: the flu, common cold, bronchitis, and strep and when it’s time to see a doctor.

The common cold and the flu come with similar symptoms but the onset of the flu is far more dramatic.

“With influenza, you’re well one minute then you’re very sick,” said Ilene Risk, Salt Lake County Health Epidemiology Director. 

Symptoms of the flu include: 

  • Fever over 100 F
  • achy muscles
  • chills and sweating
  • dry cough
  • fatigue
  • nasal congestion
  • headache

There’s a slower onset when it comes to the common cold, RSV and bronchitis.

“Bronchitis you typically have a mild illness upper respiratory cough sore throat,” said Risk. 

RSV is common in small children. Pediatricians warn in rare cases in children, it can cause infection of the bronchial tubes and cause respiratory failure. You want to seek immediate care. You can rule out the flu, health experts say, if you feel nauseous. 

When it comes to strep throat, a bacterial infection, treated with antibiotics symptoms include: 

  •   throat pain that usually comes on quickly
  • painful swallowing
  • red and swollen tonsils, sometimes with white patches or streaks of pus
  • tiny red spots on the area at the back of the roof of the mouth (soft or hard palate)
  • swollen, tender lymph nodes in your neck
  • fever
  • headache
  • rash
  • nausea or vomiting, especially in younger children

Delilah’s grandmother has a message:
“If we could tell the public anything, you can’t be too careful, especially during cold and flu season. Wash your hands. Get your flu shot. And most importantly. Take care of each other. Love everyone like there’s no tomorrow. Tell them and show them everyday, just like Delilah did. Thank you so much.”
Experts say parents know their children best. If after seeing a doctor, your child gets worse, go back to the doctor or seek immediate care, and get them checked out again. Pediatricians also say flu in children, in rare cases, could lead to complications of a bacterial infection which could lead to death.

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