9th grader from Lake Fenton School District dies after showing flu-like symptoms

LAKE FENTON, Mich. (WXYZ) - A Lake Fenton High School freshman died over the weekend from flu-like symptoms.

The parents of Joshua Polehna, 15, say their son came down with a cough and sore throat on Sunday, December 30.

When he had a fever, they called the doctor and took him in for treatment. Less than a week after first showing symptoms, Josh passed away.

His parents tell Action News Josh didn't have the flu vaccine, but they say doctors told them it likely wouldn't have made a difference. "Sometimes these things happen even when you do all the things right," said Dave Polehna, Josh's father.

The teen is being remembered as a fun-loving boy who touched many lives. Josh was a involved in marching band, track and robotics.

Lake Fenton Community Schools notified parents of the incident in a letter. Dr. Wayne Wright, district superintendent, also wrote "Student absences have been monitored for the last month as some districts in Genesee County have had a high rate of student illness. The absences of students at Lake Fenton schools due to illness has not been abnormally high, but we will continue to monitor the absence rate."

Parents are encouraged to keep sick children at home and seek medical help when necessary.

Funeral arrangements for Josh Polehna can be found at the Sharp Funeral Home website.

More than 2,200 people across the nation have been hospitalized so far and 18 children have died from the flu, including 3 here in Michigan.

Doctors say anyone who is 6-months or older should get a flu shot, unless their doctor has told them not to.

Doctors say you should also get plenty of Vitamin D. They say 70 of Americans are low on it and that can weaken your immune system.
 

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