She got sick with the flu on her 37th birthday, and after Christmas, she was dead

MISSOURI (WITI) -- She got her flu shot -- and that's part of the reason a Missouri woman's family is in disbelief that just days after she turned 37, they're faced with saying goodbye. The family says Kristie Green died as a result of complications from the flu.

FOX6's sister station FOX4KC in Kansas City reports Green is the second person to die as a result of the flu at the University of Kansas Hospital this flu season.

Kristie Green was a mother of three and a grandmother of one.

FOX4 reports Green got sick on December 19th -- her 37th birthday. Within two days, Green had visited two hospitals. She was told she had Type A flu, and was sent home. Green's daughter tells FOX4 Green went to the hospital a third time as she fought to breathe, and was transferred to the University of Kansas Hospital.

"She just looked so different and swollen and terrible," Green's daughter Latool Williams told FOX4KC.

Williams told FOX4 her mother was placed on a machine that does the work of the heart and lungs and showed some signs of improvement, but the flu led to a staph infection that eventually overwhelmed her body.

Kristie Green died the day after Christmas.

The chief medical officer at KU Hospital told FOX4 people can die of the flu itself, or complications like a secondary infection.

Green's daughter says she can't believe her mother is gone.

"Nobody's safe I guess. It's crazy," Williams told FOX4.

Hospitals across the country are inundated with flu cases right now. KU Hospital's chief medical officer tells FOX4 he's never seen numbers of flu cases like he's currently seeing.

"It's not even in the thick of the flu season yet, and that's what's so alarming about it," Dr. Lee Norman told FOX4KC.

Earlier this month health officials warned the flu vaccine may not be enough to protect folks from the flu this year. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 52% of recent flu samples were not a good match for the current vaccine. The CDC says the virus has mutated, making the flu vaccine less effective and it’s too late to make any adjustments to the vaccine.

Health officials say even though this year's vaccine isn't an exact match for this year's flu strain, it's still recommended. That's because the vaccine can make symptoms much less severe.

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