UPDATE: Centra issues statement regarding possible flu-related death in Pittsylvania County

HURT, Va. (WDBJ7) Centra health has released a statement regarding the death of Kevin Baynes Jr., a 7-year-old boy from Hurt who died Sunday after being diagnosed with the flu and strep throat.

Baynes' family told WDBJ7 Monday that their son was diagnosed and treated at Centra's Gretna Medical Center Saturday.

Without naming Baynes, Centra spokesperson Diane M. Ludwig said the health system is devastated for the family involved. She acknowledged that Centra is treating the situation as a flu-related death, while encouraging those in the community to seek flu vaccinations.

Below is the full statement from Centra spokesperson Diane M. Ludwig:

Centra is devastated for this family. We extend our thoughts and prayers and grieve with them. Due to the child’s most recent diagnosis, we are treating this as a flu-related death and are awaiting final results from the medical examiner. As is customary, Centra is working closely with the Virginia Department of Health as they proceed with an investigation in to this case.

Based on what we know, this appears to be an aggressive flu strain, and we encourage everyone in our community to consider the flu shot if they haven’t already been immunized. It is not too late to vaccinate your family. Even if the flu vaccine doesn't always completely prevent illness, it has been shown to minimize symptoms. We urge families to monitor children and elders closely, and seek medical attention if you become concerned.

According to the CDC, emergency warning signs of the flu may include: fast or troubled breathing, bluish skin color, not drinking enough fluids, not waking up or not interacting, flu-like symptoms improve but then return with high fever and a worse cough or severe vomiting and diarrhea.


A Pittsylvania County boy has died from complications related to the flu, according to published news reports and a statement from the child's family.

Kevin Baynes Jr., 7, died in his home Sunday.

Baynes, who lived in Hurt, was sent home from school Friday after vomiting and falling asleep in class.

"He says mommy, mommy, I don't feel good so I cuddled him," Baynes' mother, Samantha, told WDBJ7 Monday.

Baynes said she let her son sleep Friday night, waiting to see if his condition improved.

By Saturday morning Kevin Baynes was unable to walk or keep food down. Samantha Baynes said she took her son to an emergency room in Gretna, where he was diagnosed with strep throat and the flu.

Doctors sent him home with medication to treat his strep throat, Samantha Baynes said.

"We tried to give him the medication and everything we were supposed to do and he just wasn't getting any better," explained Samantha Baynes.

Sunday morning around 8:00, Kevin Baynes' older sister went in to check on him and found him unresponsive. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

"Watch your children closely," Samantha Baynes said. "Don't hesitate to go to the emergency room. No matter what time it is day or night, just take them."

The family has not been given an official cause for Baynes' death. They are still waiting to hear a report from the Medical Examiner.

A family member has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the child's funeral. You can visit that page here: