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California Girl Succumbs To Deadly Infection That Was Misdiagnosed As Flu

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Alyssa Joyce Alcaraz, a 12-year-old girl from California, died due to a deadly infection. Doctors misdiagnosed her condition as the flu, which has recently been out of control in the state.  ( Boris Horvat | Getty Images )

A girl from California died from a deadly infection after doctors misdiagnosed her of having just the flu, which was the same thing that her family thought.

There are cases of death related to seasonal flu, but the unfortunate incident, caused by an entirely different disease, may have been avoided if the girl was able to take the necessary medicine to cure her infection.

Flu Misdiagnosis Leads To Death Of California Girl

Alyssa Joyce Alcaraz, a 12-year-old girl from Tulare, California, died Dec. 17, 2017, due to a fatal blood infection that was misdiagnosed by doctors as the flu.

Alyssa’s family also thought that the girl was coming down with the flu, especially as the current flu season in California has been out of control.

“I remember she came home from school and she was throwing up, and I thought oh she’s probably got food poisoning, she’s going to be ok,” said Alyssa’s sister Mariah in an interview with ABC News. However, Alyssa was not suffering from food poisoning, nor was it a case of the flu as doctors initially diagnosed.

Alyssa stayed at home for a few days, but she did not get better. Her family then took the girl for a follow-up checkup, and that was when a physician discovered that Alyssa’s low oxygen levels.

Alyssa was rushed by ambulance to the Kaweah Delta Medical Center. However, within hours, the girl’s organs started to shut down, and she coded six times.

According to Alyssa’s death certificate, she suffered from a strep blood infection, resulting in cardiac arrest and septic shock.

Nobody in her family knew of the infection, which exhibits similar symptoms as the flu virus. This may be why doctors made the misdiagnosis, likely skipping the tests that determine flu cases due to the prevalence of the virus in California.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for donations to Alyssa’s family. So far, the campaign has raised over $11,000.

The Danger Of Medical Misdiagnosis

The death of Alyssa is another case of medical misdiagnosis, which was the topic of a study reported in April 2017.

According to the study by the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, most patients with serious health issues are initially misdiagnosed, with changes in their diagnosis after they seek a second opinion.

The researchers viewed reports of nearly 300 patients from 2009 to 2010. Out of the population, only 12 percent received the same diagnosis on their second round compared with the first time.

Patients should always try to seek for a second opinion on the diagnosis of their diseases to avoid tragic cases such as that of Alyssa.

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