A 4-year-old US girl who was unvaccinated has gone blind after suffering from a severe bout of the flu that left her in intensive care for two weeks.

A few days before Christmas, Iowa City girl Jade DeLucia caught influenza B, a strain that impacts children more than adults.

But just days later the infection triggered an intense seizure and left her unresponsive.

Jade started to show symptoms on December 19, and by December 24 she was unresponsive in bed.

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"I yelled at him - I was like, 'We have to go. We have to to the emergency room. This isn't right. Something's not right with her'," Jade's mother Amanda Phillips recalled saying to her husband to CNN.

By the time she arrived at the local medical centre her body was shaking uncontrollably and her eyes were rolled to the back of her head.

She was airlifted 128km to Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital.

Her mum said she thought she was going to die.

"I didn't think I was going to see her again at that point," Phillips said upon seeing her daughter airlifted to the hospital. "I really didn't. Just from looking at her, I really honestly didn't think I was going to see her."

Jade was given a specific diagnosis: acute necrotizing encephalopathy or ANE, a complication of the flu caused by viral infection. Photo / Amanda Phillips / Facebook
Jade was given a specific diagnosis: acute necrotizing encephalopathy or ANE, a complication of the flu caused by viral infection. Photo / Amanda Phillips / Facebook

The Influenza B virus had activated Jade's immune system to attack her own organs, including the brain, resulting in devastating brain swelling.

"They said she had significant brain damage. They said our child might not ever wake up, and if she did, she might not ever be the same," Phillips recalled.

On December 31, Jade was given a specific diagnosis: acute necrotizing encephalopathy or ANE, a complication of the flu caused by viral infection.

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"It's been 7 days. 7 days of it feeling like Jade was slipping away and that there was no hope. No hope of her ever coming back to us. All because of the flu," Jade's mother wrote in an emotional Facebook post that same day.

After taking steroids to calm the braining swelling up, Jade miraculously woke up on January 1.

But doctors realised something was still wrong when she wouldn't look at the toys placed in front of her.

Jade had gone blind with the flu inflaming her brain and impacting her sight.

"It affected the part of her brain that perceives sight, and we don't know if she's going to get her vision back," Dr Theresa Czech, one of Jade's doctors said.

"In about three to six months from now we'll know. Whatever recovery she is at after six months, that's likely all she's going to get."

"I didn't think I was going to see her again at that point," mum Amanda Phillips said upon seeing her daughter airlifted to the hospital. Photo / Amanda Phillips / Facebook

Jade may also have cognitive or developmental problems and learning disabilities in the future.

Now her parents are warning other families to vaccinate their children.

"If I can stop one child from getting sick, that's what I want to do," Amanda Phillips said.

"It's terrible to see your child suffer like this."

This year's child flu death toll in the US has risen to 32. Among those deaths, 21 were from the influenza B virus.

On Sunday, January 5, a 13-year-old girl from the US died due to complications of the flu.