Kim Porter passed away on Thursday (November 15) and we’re just now getting some details surrounding her final days.
Initially, it was reported that Porter was hospitalized during a bout with pneumonia and while it isn’t clear that’s what ultimately caused her passing, the disease is often the result of influenza.
The United States in general is becoming less and less prepared for battling the flu as vaccination rates are falling yearly. America’s vaccination rate is at about 47 percent per year, which is far below the 70 percent target rate.
College students are among the least vaccinated. While people 65 and older are at a higher risk of catching flu-related complications, young people every year get infested and die from the disease.
Some believe the reason for lower vaccination rates is from misinformation spread about shots in general. The idea that you can get the flu from a flu shot is baseless.
According to William Schaffner, medical director at the National Foundation for Infectious Disease, only 1 to 2 percent actually get a fever from a flu vaccination and it’s only the body’s reaction to the actual shot. He also says that since young people aren’t vaccinated at a high rate, they are at a particularly high risk of getting the flu. "The flu can, on occasion, take a young, healthy person and put them in the intensive care unit," he told NPR.
Symptoms surrounding the flu include: sore throat, cough, runny or stuffy nose, headaches, body or muscle aches, fever, and fatigue.
Getting the flu vaccine doesn’t mean you’ll never get the flu. It does however drastically lower your chances of contracting the disease and heavily reduces the severity of it, if contracted.
It isn’t clear if Kim Porter was vaccinated for influenza. Early reports claim that first responders were called to her Toluca Lake, California home over a potential cardiac arrest episode. However, it’s just been announced that an official cause of death will not be revealed until an “additional investigation” can be completed.
Photo: Donato Sardella/Getty Images for Alexandra Von Furstenberg