Loved ones of a 29-year-old North Carolina lawyer are warning the public to take the virus seriously after the young woman died from flu-related complications.
Scarlett VanStory Levinson was reportedly sick for 10 days before she decided to get back to her usual routine of exercise and work, in hopes that it would help her recovery.
Shortly after, her husband found her unconscious in their bathroom — and the young attorney died from flu-related complications on Oct. 2.
Now, family and friends are urging people to take the flu seriously — and get the flu shot.
“It’s been just shocking, and just doesn’t seem real,” Karen Axford, who co-owned Levinson’s legal practice, told ABC 11.
“She was just extraordinary at everything that she did.”
Levinson earned her biology degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and received her law degree from Campbell University. One year later she opened her own firm, Levinson & Axford.
“Every time I think of her, all I can picture is just her smiling and loving life and living life,” said Axford.
According to the government of Canada, influenza is a respiratory illness in which most people recover within seven to 10 days. It is estimated that the flu causes approximately 12,200 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths in Canada each year.
Pregnant women, those living with chronic health conditions, people over the age of 65 and children younger than five years are at an increased risk of influenza.
While the best way to recover is with rest and plenty of fluids, doctors recommend getting vaccinated each fall to dodge the flu altogether.
Levinson’s friend is urging those who may contract the virus to take the symptoms seriously — focusing on rest and staying hydrated.
“You have to take a sickness like that seriously, and not push yourself too hard,” Axford said.