Healthy father-of-four and special education teacher dies after contracting the FLU- as respiratory viruses surge across the US

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As flu and other respiratory viruses surge across the United States, the illness has taken the life of a healthy father-of-four and special education teacher from Tennessee. 

Cody Capps from Robertson County, Tennessee died unexpectedly from the flu, highlighting how the typically mild to moderate illness can have severe health implications in some people, even sometimes proving deadly. 

The 37-year-old died from complications of the virus on December 28 after falling ill while in Indiana visiting family for Christmas. Mr Capps tested positive for influenza A and was admitted to the intensive care unit when his condition deteriorated. 

A GoFundMe page has been set up to provide financial assistance to his wife and four sons. Surpassing the $75,000 goal, the Capps family has raised $78,400. 

A family friend wrote on the fundraising page: ‘Cody was a dedicated husband, father, a long time servant leader at Long Hollow Church, and was instrumental in the success of many students in Robertson county.

‘It is without a doubt that Cody will be missed by every single life that he touched. This site is set up to help the family during this difficult time.’

Mr Capps is part of the rising trend of cases, hospitalizations and deaths from respiratory viruses during this year’s cold season.

As flu and other respiratory viruses surge across the United States, the illness has taken the life of a healthy father-of-four and special education teacher from Tennessee

As flu and other respiratory viruses surge across the United States, the illness has taken the life of a healthy father-of-four and special education teacher from Tennessee

Mr Capps is part of the rising trend of cases, hospitalizations and deaths from respiratory viruses during this year's cold season

Mr Capps is part of the rising trend of cases, hospitalizations and deaths from respiratory viruses during this year’s cold season

DECEMBER 23: The above map shows the levels of flu-like illness by state for the week ending December 23, shortly before festive gatherings. It shows more than seven states had very high illness levels

DECEMBER 23: The above map shows the levels of flu-like illness by state for the week ending December 23, shortly before festive gatherings. It shows more than seven states had very high illness levels

The above shows flu hospitalizations this season, which have risen 48 percent to more than 14,000 admissions in the week to December 23

The above shows flu hospitalizations this season, which have risen 48 percent to more than 14,000 admissions in the week to December 23

In a Facebook post, Danny Weeks, the superintendent of Robertson County Schools, where Mr Capps worked for 13 years as behavior coordinator, released a statement announcing his death. 

The statement said: ‘It is with heavy hearts that we confirm the passing of Cody Capps, Behavior Coordinator. Over the course of his 13 years of dedicated service, Cody’s unwavering commitment to fostering positive change and his genuine compassion to the lives of countless individuals throughout the district is immeasurable.’

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows respiratory virus cases and hospitalizations are on the rise, with flu admissions climbing 48 percent in the week ending December 23 compared to the previous seven-day spell.

Admissions are up nearly 90 percent over the same time in 2019, before the pandemic.

And the CDC estimates there have been 4,500 flu-related deaths so far this season, compared to 2,100 at this time in 2019.

The latest data on the flu showed 14,732 people were hospitalized with the virus in the week to December 23, compared to 9,930 in the previous seven-day stretch.

The positivity rate for flu tests — the proportion that detect the virus — rose from 10.5 percent in the week ending December 16 to 13.1 percent in the week to December 23.

Across the US, approximately a dozen states are now reporting ‘very high’ levels of respiratory activity and seven states — Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, South Carolina and Mr Capps home state of Tennessee — are reporting the highest levels as measured by the CDC.

Just two weeks ago, only two states — Louisiana and South Carolina — were reporting the highest levels of flu-like illness.

Covid hospitalizations were also up 17 percent in a week, while respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases, which the CDC director said had ‘peaked’ last month, were also rising again.

The overwhelming winter cold season has hospitals feeling the pressure, with doctors saying this is the ‘worst’ winter virus season they have seen.

And the figures are expected to continue increasing as they begin to reflect the impact of holiday gatherings. 

This surging ‘triple threat’ of Covid, flu and RSV has spurred the return of face masks in hospitals across the country.

In total, more than 30 hospital systems across 16 states have now brought back the restrictions recently. 

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