Girl died after being misdiagnosed with the flu, family says

Her family said she was misdiagnosed by a California hospital.

"For her, it wasn't even [the flu]. It was just three days and she was dead," the mother told ABC News.

Alyssa's mother said she has no plans to sue, but wants doctors nationwide to develop tests for children and others exhibiting similar systems to spare families from tragedies and avoid misdiagnoses in the future.

"I have mixed emotions. I know doctors and clinics are so overwhelmed with flu cases right now. My thing is, yeah, I could point fingers, but as a mother, I missed it, too," she said.

Dru Quesnoy, a spokeswoman for the hospital, declined to discuss Alyssa's case, saying, "Patient privacy laws prohibit us from commenting on the story."

"I have four kids, three girls and a boy, and she was my second," Alcaraz said. "She was the clown of the family. She loved music. She loved singing. She loved science at school."

According to the CDC, "Sepsis happens when an infection you already have -– in your skin, lungs, urinary tract or somewhere else -– triggers a chain reaction throughout your body."

As for the difference between an infection and sepsis, the CDC says, “An infection occurs when germs enter a person’s body and multiply, causing illness, organ and tissue damage, or disease. If that infection isn’t stopped, it can cause ... sepsis.”

People with sepsis are treated in the hospital. Research shows that rapid, effective sepsis treatment, which includes giving antibiotics, maintaining blood flow to organs, and treating the source of infection, can save lives, according to the CDC.

"Sepsis is, unfortunately, common. When you look at the numbers, it's the third most common death in the United States," Dr. Greg Martin, a critical-care physician at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, told ABC News.

He called sepsis "the great masquerader" and said it's prone to fooling doctors into believing it is the flu.

About 250,000 Americans die annually from sepsis, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"There's not a single test for sepsis," said Martin. "And if it's not treated quickly, it can often be fatal."