14-year-old girl dies after getting the flu

THOUSAND OAKS, California (CBS) - A freshman at a California high school has died after contracting the flu, CBS Los Angeles reports. La Reina High & Middle School confirmed Gabriella Chabot's death Thursday night in an email sent to parents. 

The letter reads in part: "The La Reina community shares in deep sorrow with the Chabot family upon the passing of their daughter, Gabriella. We stand ready to support them through this time in every way we can." 

Chabot's father, Michael, also posted a statement on Facebook in response to his daughter's death.

"Today I experienced the day that no parent should," he said. "I lost my daughter … my angel Gabriella Chabot. We are heartbroken. She would have been 15 on 2/16/18. I love you peanut! Papi will never forget you. You will always be my angel."  

A spokesperson from the all-girls Catholic school would not confirm whether the flu had spread to other students, or potentially how many.  

A vigil was scheduled for Friday evening. 

The flu epidemic has hit California exceptionally hard this season. It is primarily due to the spike in the Influenza A strain (H3N2), which can cause a more severe illness and leads to more hospitalizations, especially in children and older adults.

Between Oct. 1, 2017 -- when the flu season officially began -- and Jan. 13, the California Department of Public Health reported 74 flu deaths for people 65 and under. At the same time last year, there were 14 flu deaths.  


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