A 26-year-old journalist for a conservative news website died after a friend found her unconscious in her room Thursday.
On Friday, Bre Payton, who worked as a staff writer at The Federalist, was pronounced dead, according to a tweet from her friend Morgan Murtaugh.
Payton was first discovered by Murtaugh and was quickly transported to a San Diego hospital, where she fell into a coma.
“24 hours ago I found my friend unconscious and called 911,” Murtaugh tweeted. “She’s been in a coma since and really needs a miracle right now. Please, if you’re religious at all, send prayers this way. We really need them.”
Murtaugh also revealed Patyon contracted the H1N1 flu, also known as the swine flu.
“Bre was taken to the hospital where she was admitted to the ICU, sedated & intubated, and doctors began working up a diagnosis. After a CT scan and hours of testing, they have determined she has the H1N1 flu and possibly meningitis,” Murtaugh’s statement read. “The doctors are concerned that her neurological signs are not great at this point and have informed us the next 24-48 hours are going to be critical for her.”
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu activity is on the rise in the country. Based on a report released Friday, Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Carolina have all seen a steady increase in flu activity.
Pneumonia, which can be a complication resulting from the flu, can result in death if treatment is not sought immediately. The CDC still recommends everyone get vaccinated to keep them protected from this year’s flu season. While the vaccine doesn’t stop all strains of the virus, it does lessen the likelihood of hospitalization and/or death.