'It's attacking very hard,' Chattanooga, Tenn. mom watches daughter fight flu from PICU

Alayah Rowland is in the hospital with the flu. (Image: Asha Bentley)

UPDATE: (Tuesday morning):

Alayah's mom let us know she is now recovering at home.

Depend on us to keep you posted.

UPDATE (Sunday morning):

Alayah's mom tells us her daughter is improving and has more energy.

"She is still on all machines, but they are weaning her to see how she does," Asha Bentley said.

Asha says they are hoping to take her home Tuesday or Wednesday.

PREVIOUS (Thursday morning):

Kayla Strayer checked with Alayah's mom Thursday morning for an update, and the news is encouraging:

Depend on us to keep you posted.


A Chattanooga mom is up night and day watching her daughter fight the flu from Children's Hospital at Erlanger.

"It's attacking very hard," Asha Bentley said. "It hurts very bad, I haven't seen my baby smile in over a week and it's killing me."

Asha took her 6-month-old daughter Alayah to get her immunizations and flu shot last Tuesday. They spent a few hours in the doctor's office waiting room, and Asha thinks her daughter got the flu from other children there.

She started coughing, and had a fever. Her symptoms increased as the week went on.

"It's just gotten worse her lungs are completely infected," Asha said. "She is straining and struggling to breathe."

Asha says she took her daughter to the emergency room twice before she was admitted Saturday.

"Right now it's just hoping and praying."

This year's virus is hitting more intense and sooner than last year, says Dr. Jonathan Kerley with Fast Access Healthcare.

"Flu season has definitely been pretty rough this year," Kerley said. "We are seeing a substantial number of cases still."

Dr. Kerley says there is a 25 percent increase in flu like symptoms at his practice this season over last.

If you or your children have flu like symptoms, he says call your doctor immediately and take the proper precautions, like not going to work or school.

"If you do test positive for the flu you are putting everyone around you at risk."

Phil Smith with Access Pharmacy says they still have plenty of flu shots and medication available. They prepared by ordering more this year.

"There really wasn't much flu activity this time last year so it's come on a lot earlier," Smith said. "Flu comes on quick, one minute you're fine, one minute you're not."

Asha says take the symptoms seriously and get help right away if you need it.

"If they feel like it's something don't let them turn you away, be persistent because if we weren't persistent parents they would have walked us right back out the door again."

The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department says they also have flu shots available.

You can track the flu-like symptoms being reported in Hamilton County here.

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