Waterloo four-year-old loses sight, nearly dies from flu

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WATERLOO, Iowa (CNN) - A four-year-old girl in Waterloo nearly died and is now blind because of the flu.

A case of the flu turns nearly fatal for a young girl in Iowa and it may have blinded her permanently. (CNN)

Jade DeLucia caught the flu a few days before Christmas. Her mom said both Jade and her sister got the flu shot last March and thought it was good for an entire year. She didn't realize she needed to get the girls vaccinated for the 2019-2020 season.

She then spent nearly two weeks at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital in Iowa City.

On Christmas Day, her parents say they learned she developed encephalopathy, a complication from the flu which affects the brain and causes blindness.

Doctors say the damage is likely permanent.

Jade returned home from the hospital on Jan. 9.

Since the flu virus changes year to year, the vaccine also changes. Vaccines become available at the end of the summer and the CDC recommends getting one by the end of October to protect against flu in the upcoming winter.