7-year-old girl dies of the flu, scarlet fever hours after she was sent home from hospital

A 7-year-old girl who was treated for the flu and scarlet fever died hours after she was discharged from an Indiana hospital last week.

Matthew Jessie told People that his young daughter, Savanna, came down with a sore throat last Monday and developed a fever the next day. After Jessie brought his daughter to see a doctor, he said she was diagnosed with strep throat and was sent home on Tuesday night.

Savanna's father brought her back to the hospital less than a day later when her symptoms worsened. She was prescribed Tamiflu and sent home again on Wednesday night.

According to Bartholomew County coroner Clayton Nolting, Savanna was found unresponsive in her home on Thursday morning and rushed to Columbus Regional Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Nolting added that Savanna tested positive for influenza B, strep throat and scarlet fever at the time of her death.


Photo: Barkes, Weaver & Glick Funeral Homes

The coroner's office says it is waiting for the results of a full toxicology report to make a ruling on Savanna's cause of death.

"It happened so fast it just doesn't seem like it's real," Savanna's grieving father told People. "It’s hard coming home to where all of this happened. I have three other kids. When you’re getting ready to make dinner, you get out four plates for the kids to make their plates and you catch yourself because there’s only three now."

According to a YouCaring page set up to cover the cost of Savanna's funeral, she "was a beautiful, funny, loving little girl. She had a very wonderful and tight nit (sic) family. She was not the type to complain about the things she didn't have or what others did have. Savanna valued everything she had.  She was a fly by the seat of the pants kind of girl. She loved everybody and everybody loved her."

According to the CDC, the 2017-18 flu season is already one of the most deadly ever recorded. 

Flu hospitalizations have reached their highest point in nearly a decade and at least 53 pediatric deaths have already been reported.

With several more weeks left in the season, the outbreak shows no signs of slowing down.

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