Family's emotional plea after bodybuilder, 21, suddenly dies of the flu

A young US bodybuilder described by his family as "extremely active" has become the latest victim to succumb to the deadly virus dubbed 'Aussie flu'.

Kyler Baughman, 21, from Pennsylvania, came down with a cough after work on December 26 before his condition dramatically decreased.

Two days later, after being airlifted to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, he passed away after organ failure due to septic shock from the flu.

Kyler Baughman has passed away after he was struck down with severe flu. Source: Facebook/ Kyler Baughman

"He was into physical fitness, he was going to school to be a personal trainer," his mother Beverly Baughman told US television station WPXI.

"I think he thought, 'I just got the flu, I'll be alright. I'll go rest a little bit'."

His grieving family have since spoken out to urge others suffering from similar symptoms not to ignore the signs.

The 21-year-old bodybuilder was described as extremely healthy by his family. Source: WPXI

"Try and know your body. Don't let things go,” his father Todd Baughman said.

“Whenever you have a fever for multiple days, don't let it go, get it taken care of."

At least 170,000 cases of the H3N2 virus were confirmed in 2017 for Australia, more than double the amount of the previous year. There were 72 flu-related deaths over winter, according to health officials.

His father gave an emotional plea for others to look out for signs of the virus. Source: WPXI