Scottish girl, 18, dies after catching flu bug

Bethany Walker, 18, from Applecross. Picture: TSPL
Bethany Walker, 18, from Applecross. Picture: TSPL
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A Scottish teen has died after taking ill with the flu virus sweeping the country.

Last week, Bethany Walker, 18, from the village of Applecross in the western Highlands, was airlifted to Inverness for treatment but died on Friday 5 January.

The teenager’s mother, Heather Teale, took to social media to confirm the news and pay tribute to her daughter.

READ MORE: Scotland flu rate more than double in the past week

Writing on Facebook the day after Bethany passed away, Ms Teale said: “My beautiful Daughter Bethany Walker was taken from me yesterday.

“She had been suffering from a flu virus, which became pneumonia, she was airlifted to Raigmore with me by her side yesterday morning, where she rapidly deteriorated, the staff in Intensive Care could not have done more.

“She was given the best possible treatment from a team of 8 people for over two hours, they tried everything possible but sadly despite their best efforts she didn’t make it. I am broken, the bottom has fallen out of my world.

“I have my mum with me, and my wonderful son who are both feeling the same loss as I am. Life will never be the same again.

“Bethany, I love you to the moon and back, I always have and I always will, you were the best Daughter I could have ever wished for and I will always be the proudest Mum in the world.

“I have no more words. I’m truly devastated. Sleep tight my beautiful girl, your brother and I will love you forever, you will never be out of my thoughts as long as I live.”

READ MORE: Scottish regions worst hit by Australian flu

A post from Bethany’s old school, Plockton High, said: “As we return to school at the start of 2018, our school community has been saddened at the news of the tragic loss of Bethany Walker from Applecross who was a pupil in Plockton High School up until the summer of 2017.

“When she left school, after six very successful years, to take a gap year before taking up her place in Aberdeen to study midwifery.

“Bethany was a kind, caring, gifted and exceptionally conscientious student and a super role model for younger pupils both in the school itself and in the Hostel where she resided during the week and where she was so well thought of by the Residence staff.

“In S6, Bethany was appointed as our Deputy Head Girl and conducted herself so well on all public occasions and in carrying out her duties. It was a privilege for all of us to have taught Bethany, to have known her in her years in the school and to have maintained contact with her after she left.

“It is tragic to lose someone so young and the thoughts of the whole school and the Hostel are with Bethany’s family at this sad time.”

It is not yet known if Bethany had any other health issues.

The flu rate in Scotland has more than doubled over the past week. The flu status has been raised from “normal” seasonal activity to “moderate”.

Statistics from Health Protection Scotland showed 107 Scots in every 100,000 of the population were diagnosed with the virus in the week ending 7 January.

The flu status has been raised from “normal” seasonal activity to “moderate”.

Across the UK, health authorities have warned the threat of ‘Australian flu’ infecting British people has risen - the elderly, pregnant and children with chronic illnesses are being urged to get vaccinated.

The flu, also known as H3N2 - has arrived in the UK after claiming hundreds of lives in Australia.

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