Councilman's plea after his brother dies from flu - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Councilman's plea after his brother dies from flu

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The deadly flu season has struck close to home for a San Diego council member.

Saturday, Mark Kersey is mourning the loss of his brother who didn't get a flu shot and died after contracting a strain of H1N1.

Councilman Mark Kersey is joining health officials in their pleas for the public to get their flu shots before it's too late.

He admits he only thought the elderly or the seriously ill could die from the flu - until it happened to his brother.

Four children now without their 37-year-old father Brad Kersey after a fatal encounter with influenza.

He was the brother of San Diego councilman Mark Kersey who is in Pennsylvania this weekend for the funeral.

"You always kind of wonder, 'who dies from the flu?' then you realize it can be anybody," Mark said.

He was admitted to a hospital near Pittsburgh last week with flu-like symptoms but died on the 27th.

Councilman Kersey says his brother had not received a flu shot this season but had no major health problems before coming down with the H1N1 virus.

"We can't say for sure that it would have saved him, or prevented this from happening, but it couldn't have hurt, and it probably could have helped," Mark said. 

In California, 147 people have died from the flu this season including eight in San Diego County just last week.

Dr. Wilma Wooten told CBS News 8 says many victims of the flu locally have been unusually young.

"We see this year that young adults and middle-age adults are being affected even more so than the very young and the very old," Wooten said. 

Both Kersey brothers are Ohio natives before Bradley settled with his wife in western Pennsylvania.

Now, councilman Kersey says his brother's death can hopefully inspire others to get the shot that could save their lives.

"The more people that do this, I think the more of these tragedies we can prevent," he said. 

A fund has been set up to help Bradley's Kersey's wife and four children. For more information, CLICK HERE >>> 

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