January 24, 2018 10:52 AM

A North Carolina couple is mourning the loss of their 6-year-old daughter, who died suddenly on Friday — just days after she was diagnosed with the flu, reports say.

Emily Muth, of Cary, became sick early last week, so her parents took her to a local hospital where the little girl tested positive for the flu virus, WLS-TV reports. The family said that doctors told them Emily would be okay, but her condition quickly grew worse. She died Friday after experiencing respiratory problems.

“Our hearts are aching and feels like we lost a part of us,” the family wrote on a GoFundMe page. “There is nothing worse [than] losing a child. She was our everything … she will be in our hearts forever.”

GoFundMe

When Emily first tested positive for the flu, doctors prescribed her with Tamiflu, an antiviral drug, and told the family to keep her hydrated, according to WTVD. Her condition improved briefly, but on Friday Emily began having trouble breathing and her mother, Rhonda Muth, called an ambulance.

“She was breathing a little bit heavier. And all of sudden she just raised up and went back down,” Muth told the station. “I went, ‘Emily, Emily.’ And I noticed she wasn’t breathing.”

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Paramedics arrived at the home and performed CPR on Emily, but she died by the time they reached a Raleigh hospital, according to WTVD.

“How could that even happen? I mean one day she’s fine, you know, and I mean she had the fever and she was a little achy,” Rhonda told the station.

“Other than that, I mean, she had had the runny nose and cough like typical, you know, and then she’s gone. It’s horrible. I don’t wish this on anybody.”

Muth’s passing is the latest in a string of flu-related deaths.

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Earlier this month, Jenny Ching, of Needham, Massachusetts, died suddenly of flu complications. Last month, 21-year-old aspiring personal trainer Kyler Baughman died after experiencing septic shock caused by the flu virus. Just weeks earlier, Alani “Joie” Murrieta died one day after she was diagnosed with the flu.

“The flu is no joke right now,” Emily’s father, Nathan, told WTVD. “It’s a plague in America.”

This year’s flu season has been devastating for children across the country. The CDC currently lists the 2017 to 2018 flu season as “moderately severe,” and warns it could get worse. Thirty children have succumbed to the virus across the nation so far, PEOPLE confirmed with the CDC.

The Centers For Disease Control (CDC) reports that the flu vaccine lessens the chance that someone catches the virus by 10 to 60 percent and doesn’t guarantee that someone will not catch the flu. However, the annual vaccine is highly recommended by the CDC for everyone 6 months and older and the more people that get vaccinated can limit the disease’s spread throughout the community.

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