Prince: The Flu Narrative

THE LATEST ON PRINCE: As this appears more and more to be a death steeped in medicine, health and well-being, three focuses of this site, we have created a new live blog for the most current information related to our loss of a legend.

UPDATE: AUTOPSY. There are rumors circulating that Prince allegedly died of a drug overdose. Neither officials nor the family has confirmed at this time. An autopsy is scheduled to be done on the body of Prince today by the Midwest Medical Examiner’s office, located in Ramsey, MN, to determine the cause of death. The results could take weeks, but bits and pieces of news will surely be a steady trickle. We’ll share all details of interest, in context.

There was purple rain today when it was announced Prince died.

The shocking news shook us here at Chris Byrnes, LLC when we heard about Prince’s death. - Prince Death 2016The reported cause of his death? The flu. He had been battling the flu since April 7, only recently announcing he had landed in the hospital. He had canceled upcoming shows, and this prompted the revelation that he was ill with the flu.

The flu is a seasonal illness that hits a person with fevers, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headaches, fatigue, and other symptoms.

He was only 57 years old. So, that seems young, right?

We are told over and over again that the flu only kills infants and the elderly.

Mostly, that’s true. However, there are exceptions. We can’t lay claim to know everything about our illnesses and diseases.

The influenza can kill the young and middle-aged. How? Certain strains (especially H1N1 [swine flu] – the flu that can reportedly lay claim to Prince’s death) can cause what immunologists call a cytokine storm.

This reaction is the result of HEALTHY immune systems. Yes, in these cases, a healthy immune system becomes a liability.

A cytokine storm is when the immune system sends too many white cells to fight the pathogen invading the body, causing more harm than good.

Prince was a strict vegan and practicing Jehovah’s Witness. These practices required high respect for his body, and he treated himself that way.

So it is entirely possible Prince experienced a cytokine storm. When you have the flu, your lungs are affected. If there are too many immune cells building up in your lungs, this can clog your airways. It develops into other more serious respiratory infections leading to serious treatments like being put on an ECMO Machine (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) where blood is oxygenated and carbon dioxide removed outside of the body, and eventually, if not treated in time, death.

Rest in Purple, Prince. Party like it’s 1999.

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