It’s been a brutal flu season across the country, no more exemplified than by the stunning death of a mother of two in Needham, Massachusetts, who died two days after being diagnosed with the flu.
Jenny Ching, 51, thought she was just battling the flu. She had a cough on New Year’s Eve and continued to work the bar at New Garden restaurant, a popular Chinese spot in Needham, where she worked her entire adult life, according to WCVB TV. Ching moved from China at age 20.
“I can’t believe it because she was so healthy,” Raymond So, the owner of New Garden, told WCVB. “She was so happy and driven.”
When her symptoms progressed, she went to the hospital last Wednesday. She died two days later.
“She had the flu, and she also developed a bacterial infection,” her husband Matt Ching told WCVB. “It was really severe and caused severe pneumonia.”
Matt Ching said his wife and two children, ages 9 and 7, always got the flu shot, although he said he was unsure if she had done so this year.
“I take it a little bit more seriously now because I, and I would have to say Jen and maybe others, didn’t take well dealing with colds,” Ching said.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Ching’s children and family.
Jenny Ching’s wake will be on Wednesday, and hundreds of people are expected to attend.
“The community has been unbelievable,” Matt Ching told the news station. “The local school, our friends have just been so supportive. Without them, I don’t know how I would be to help keep the boys going.”
There have been around four times more laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza this year than last year, according to The Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston.com reported.
Overall, this flu season is fast becoming one of the most severe on record in the United States.
“We are currently in the midst of a very active flu season with much of the nation experiencing widespread and intense activity,” CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald told the NPR.