Delaware County coroner confirms 3-year-old girl died after testing positive for flu

MUNCIE, Ind. – A 3-year-old girl in Muncie died after testing positive for the flu, according to Delaware County coroner Scott Hahn.

Hahn says currently the cause of death is pneumonia, but the girl, named Alivia Viellieux, had a positive influenza A test. He will be able to confirm flu as the official cause of death once a medical exam is complete. She would have turned four years old in March.

Alivia's mother, Aabriey Viellieux told CBS4 she brought her daughter to the emergency room at Ball Memorial Hospital on Tuesday after testing positive for Influenza A. She said her symptoms seemed to get worse on Wednesday, but on Thursday, the toddler was released from the hospital.

"I asked them over and over if there was anything I needed to be worried about and they said 'no, she should be better by the weekend,'" Aabriey said.

Aabriey said her daughter seemed fine, but was uncomfortable on Sunday night. On Monday morning, she was found dead. Aabriey said she had no idea her daughter had pneumonia.

"It happened in just a day, because she was literally, I thought she was getting better yesterday," she said.

Alivia's family said they would have never had her released from the hospital if they knew she was still sick.

"You could just meet her and in just that second of meeting her, she would steal your heart with so much joy," said Aabriey.

According to the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH), the first flu-related death this season for a child between newborn to four years old was reported last week. This would be the second death in two weeks for a young child.

Doctors said pneumonia is one of the leading causes of death related to the flu. Other common infections from the flu are sinus infections and bronchitis.

Dr. Christopher Belcher, Director of Infection Control for St. Vincent and Peyton Manning Children's Hospital said those symptoms can have sudden onsets.

"Some germs move so quickly it only takes hours to deteriorate," said Dr. Belcher.

Those with asthma can also be more impacted by flu complications.

"If you add asthma to the damage that influenza does, you're just a set-up for that new infection and then that new infection may make your asthma worse or your heart disease worse," Dr. Belcher said.

The ISDH says flu activity is continuing to rise. As of last Friday, 167 Hoosiers have died from the flu this season.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story stated the deceased was four years old. The story has been updated with the deceased's correct age of three years old.

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