Flu complications cited as cause of death in migrant boy’s death

El Paso News
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The New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator released the official autopsy of Felipe Gomez Alonso, the 8-year-old migrant who was in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protections when he died on Christmas Eve.

The report shows that Felipe died of complications of influenza B with Staphylococcus aureus superinfection and sepsis. The report shows that the boy tested positive for the flu on the afternoon of December 24 at Gerald Champion Memorial Hospital in Alamogordo. The boy was treated with ibuprofen and released. 

Hours later, the boy’s father alerted CBP that he was complaining of abdominal pain and had begun vomiting blood. While en route to Gerald Champion Memorial Felipe became unresponsive. He was pronounced dead at 11:48 p.m. Christmas Eve. 

The autopsy revealed that the flu infection spread to his lungs, where fluid began to collect, causing a staph infection that eventually spread to his lungs causing sepsis. A toxicology report indicated that only a therapeutic amount of Benedryl was in his system at the time of his death. 

According to reports, the boy and his father had been in CBP custody for six days prior to his death. The CDC says the incubation period for the flu is typically between 1-4 days, which means the boy most likely contracted the virus while in CBP custody. 

After the death of Felipe Gomez Alonso and Jakelin Caal Maquin, the Department of Homeland Security began evaluating their medical protocol with each migrant in custody. The new protocol requires a medical review when entering processing centers to determine existing communicable diseases. 

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