The latest flu update from the Center for Disease Control and Protection indicates that the nation's flu epidemic may be easing. But according to CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden, hospitalizations and deaths will continue to rise.
The outbreak has been particularly difficult for the elderly, but children are also at increased risk. So far this season, 29 children have died as a result of complications from the flu.
For Joe Lastinger, that statistic hits close to home.
Lastinger's 3-year-old daughter died from flu complications in 2004 after just a few days of sickness. On HuffPost Live Wednesday, Lastinger shared his family's tragic story of finding his daughter in her room not breathing, the same morning they were scheduled to take her to the pediatrician.
"As a parent, my issue was we couldn't spot it," Lastinger told HuffPost Live's Nancy Redd. "She didn't look like, to us, a child that was close to death, but she was. That was really scary to us, that that could happen."
Lastinger said the one thing he and his wife regret most is not getting their daughter vaccinated, even though at the time it wasn't recommended for healthy children her age.
"I did it for myself, but I didn't do it for my kid," Lastinger said. "I think we paid a horrible price for that."
According to one researcher, less than 45 percent of children under the age of five received the flu vaccine from 2004 to 2009. During that same five-year period, one in six children went to a hospital emergency room or clinic for influenza.
Dr. Andrew Eisenberg told HuffPost Live that with the flu virus always changing, it's difficult to know how it will affect those diagnosed. While he acknowledged that no vaccine is 100 percent effective, he stressed that it's the best thing we have at this time.
"We can't determine who is going to have the most serious effect," Eisenberg said. "It's like a roulette game. I think you're always at risk, and that's the importance of being vaccinated and taking the other precautions."
Watch the Full Segment on HuffPost Live.