Martin community mourning death of teen after displaying flu-like symptoms


A West Michigan community is in shock after a high school student died unexpectedly over the weekend.

Her family told school officials she had flu-like symptoms just days before her death and wasn't doing well. School leaders identify the student as Mahrijana Maya, 17, a senior at Martin High School.

Her death from possible flu comes at a time when hospitals around the country, including Bronson Hospital, are facing a significant increase in flu cases.

The unexpected death is hitting the Martin community hard and dozens of social media posts describe the Maya as full of life and beautiful.

Martin School Superintendent David Harnish says Maya was a bright spot for Martin.

He said, "She was a true sweetheart, just a social butterfly. You could be in the room with her and very quickly she would capture your heart."

Harnish says he spoke with family, who said she was experiencing flu-like symptoms just days before her death.

Harnish said, "When talking to mother after she had passed, Mahri had started not feeling well on Wednesday and then passed away on Saturday night."

In a similar case earlier this month, Richelle Quick of portage died at Bronson Hospital after being diagnosed with the flu days earlier.

Her family spoke to Newschannel 3 and said she had always been in good health.

The Kalamazoo County Health Department says they are investigating the case but can't confirm any details.

Dr. David Davenport, with Borgess Medical Center, said, “A particular strand of the flu, H3N2, is causing problems around the country right now.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, hospitalizations for the flu nationwide nearly doubled last week.

Davenport said, "Historically H3N2 leads to more hospitalizations, more complications, more deaths."

All states, except Hawaii, have reported increased flu activity.

Bronson Hospital officials say because of the flu, they have been forced to place restrictions on visitation, including a policy that visitors must be at least 15-years-old.

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