3 dead in Oakland Co. after contracting the flu

3 dead in Oakland Co. after contracting the flu

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(WJBK) -

The Oakland County Health Department says three people have died after contracting the flu. The three people died of the H1N1 strain of the virus, which is a similar strain of the flu virus that caused a pandemic in 2009.

Kathy Forzley, manager and health officer for the Oakland County Health Division, said the most recent victims are aged 23, 25 and 29.

Ashley McCormick was 23 years old when she died December 27.

"We were like, 'This is the flu. How can this happen? It's just the flu.' I mean, everybody gets the flu and this doesn't happen," says Ashley's mother, Patricia McCormick.

Ashley's parents say she first started coming down with the flu symptoms December 21st. A trip to urgent care didn't help and by the night of Christmas, Ashley's systems were worse than ever.

Her father rushed her to the hospital but doctors couldn't save her. She graduated from Rochester High School and wanted to be a teacher for special needs children. Her parents say she had no underlying health conditions and she did not get a flu shot.

VIDEO: Click on the video player above to hear more of Ashley's story in a report from Fox 2's Taryn Asher

"What we're seeing is potentially more H1N1 circulating, and we know that in this age group they may be more at risk for severe illness. And this is also the group that we have the hardest time convincing to get a flu shot," says Forzley.

Health officials recommend everyone over the age of six months to get the flu shot.

Online: www.flu.gov

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