2 Year Old Girl Fighting For Survival After Flu Turns Into Rare Inflammation Of The Brain

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A 2-year-old girl from Missouri is fighting for her life, after she contracted the flu which turned into necrotizing encephalopathy, which is a rare brain disease.

Layla Thomas, has been in the pediatric ICU for 11 days already and has been put into a medically induced coma.

The toddler has also been given a number of blood transfusions.

Doctors say that Layla has a 50-50 chance of survival.

The girls parents are desperately waiting for progress, while relatives and friends are raising money to pay for the rising medical bills.


Layla’s suffering started out atwo weeks ago, when she came down with flu-like symptoms.

‘She had just a runny nose, maybe a little cough but nothing out of the ordinary that we hadn’t seen before,‘ Layla’s aunt Jessica Kile said to KMOV4.

On March 18, Layla’s temperature shot up to 107F and was rushed to hospital where her condition deteriorated rather rapidly.

Now, Kile says: ‘She’s completely unresponsive and is making small eye movements.’

Doctors said that she had a rare development of the flu which is called necrotic encephalitis

It is incredibly rare, with only 59 cases recorded.

A third of patients do not survive the disease.

In most of the cases, necrotizing encephalopathy is a complication of the flu.

The virus moves quickly from influenza to inflaming the brain. It starts damaging and swelling parts of the brain and eventually, it starts killing off tissue in the brain.

Once infected, it starts off with flu-like symptoms, then develop seizures, hallucinations and then difficulty coordinating movements. 

Patients then mostly fall into a coma.

Layla was however put in a medically-induced coma before she reached that stage, and doctors are now administering fluids, antibiotics as well as numerous blood transfusions to fight off the disease.

As her aunt, Kile said: ‘They had her hooked up to everything imaginable.’

Doctors say they hadn’t seen a case like this in at least a decade, and have been forced to call on colleagues from around the world to help solve Layla’s case.

‘Only time will tell what her outcome will be,’ a family friend wrote on their GoFundMe. ‘Layla is a fighter and has been showing small signs of improvement everyday!!!’ 

While Layla’s case is rare, Health Officials say that this case is a reminder that the flu continues to circulate late in the season, and it can have grave complications.

The CDC urges all Americans to get their flu shot, even though it’s almost April.


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