We had a little girl attending DIBC for a while now. She died on the 26th of Dec, 2006. She was a sweet quiet little girl who was usually seen following her big sister around the church.
Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?Death Of Girl Triggers Call For Flu Shots
By JOSH POLTILOVE The Tampa Tribune
Published: Jan 6, 2007
TAMPA - Hillsborough County and state health officials are encouraging people to get flu shots after the death of a 9-year-old girl.
Nichole Lang-Veru, a fourth-grader at Mabry Elementary in south Tampa, died Dec. 27 during her school's winter break.
"We know that she had influenza when she died," said Doug Holt, county health department director. "It's highly presumptive that it's what killed her."
If confirmed, it would be the first official flu-related death of a person younger than 18 in Hillsborough since at least the 2004-05 flu season, Holt said.
At Mabry Elementary this week, Nichole's classmates made cards for her parents and decided to leave her two desks vacant for the rest of the school year. The school also is considering creating a butterfly garden or other memorial.
Diana Lang declined to comment about her daughter's death, other than to say, "If you're going to say anything, just know she was my soul; she was my life."
A few students and about 15 Mabry teachers attended Nichole's funeral.
"She was a very sweet little girl, very thoughtful," said her teacher, Lynn Heller. "She had a beautiful smile, a cute little giggle. She was a cute little fourth-grader that everybody loved."
The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's Office suspects Nichole's death was flu-related and is awaiting test results for confirmation, spokesman Dick Bailey said. It could be a month until the results are available.
There has been no other flu-related death reported this season in Florida, state Department of Health spokesman Fernando Senra said.
"It's unfortunate and sad that sometimes there are children that die because of the flu," Senra said. "People should be evaluating what they're doing with flu protection to help themselves and their family."
Each year, the flu kills an estimated 36,000 people nationwide.
Flu season typically begins in October and peaks in February. Roughly 1 in 10,000 people with influenza dies as a result of it, Holt said.
There was a vaccine shortage in 2004, but 110 million to 120 million doses were produced nationally for the current flu season, more than ever before, Holt said.
It's unclear whether Nichole had a flu shot, but Holt said a shot might not have helped her, given the severity of the case.
"It's so odd; it's so rare," he said.
Mabry Principal Scott Weaver said a grief counselor has been on hand for students, who returned Wednesday from winter break.
Nichole's classmates have been resilient, Heller said.
"It's something that you don't ever want to go through as a teacher," she said. "I can only imagine what it's like as a parent."
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