In 2013, Rosie was a bright and bubbly little girl. She was soon to share her fourth birthday with her twin sister, Ellie.
However, Rosie became suddenly very sick when she contracted an illness from her sister. With a high fever that didn't respond to medication, Rosie had no appetite and was extremely lethargic.
Rosie’s condition deteriorated rapidly and she was rushed to hospital for treatment. She was transferred to Sydney Children's Hospital in Randwick where she remained in Intensive Care and was kept on a ventilator to keep her alive.
It was every parent's worst nightmare.
Rosie's doctors told her parents to prepare themselves to say their final goodbyes to their sweet, little girl. They didn't believe that Rosie would survive her illness.
For five days Rosie battled to breathe. Nobody knew if she could pull-through.
Thankfully Rosie survived this awful time. But Rosie’s condition was not due to a rare or exotic illness.
Rosie had simply caught the flu.
Rosie’s parents Gary and Kerry-Anne want to alert all parents that immunising themselves and their children against the flu is extremely important and could save their child's life.
Influenza in Australia
It is estimated that every year in Australia, flu causes an average of over 18,000 hospitalisations. Each year there are between 1,500 and 3,500 deaths from flu-related complications such as pneumonia and secondary bacterial infections.
Already this year there have been a total of 4091 confirmed laboratory notifications of cases of Influenza in Australia, as of the end of March 2015.
Dr Ginni Mansberg is an Australian GP and recommends all families talk to their doctors about being vaccinated against flu this winter, and prevent a serious health situation like Rosie's.
“Flu can be incredibly unpleasant, disruptive to the work and home life of individuals and costly for the healthcare system. It can also be dangerous and in the worst case scenario, deadly,” said Dr Mansberg.
“It is important to get your flu shot early, to allow about two weeks for antibodies to develop. Flu viruses change all the time, so the vaccine from last year may not cover the strains of virus circulating this year,” Dr Mansberg explained.
The FluQuadri vaccine is a new type of vaccine that is available from April 27th in Australia.
This particular vaccine is not the same as FluVax which has been available in the past. It is a quadrivalent vaccine (QIV) which means that for the first time people in Australia will have access to vaccines which cover the four most common seasonal flu viruses.
This vaccine is available for all children aged above six-months-old.
Parents can request the vaccine from their GP. Costs vary according to each practice.
Is it just a cold?
This infographic can help you understand the difference between the common cold, and the Influenza virus, the flu.