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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Smarty Alert: H1N1 Virus Update

By Guest Blogger Dr. William Satterwhite, Twin City Pediatrics

You probably have noticed the increased number of cases of H1N1 (also known as swine flu) that are being diagnosed. The following is information that may help you make decisions about what your child should and should not do.

A recent study on H1N1 found the following symptoms in patients:

Patients presented with fever (94%), cough (92%), sore throat (66%), diarrhea (25%), and vomiting (25%). On a more positive note, the patients that we have seen with swine flu have had symptoms that were milder than what we typically see with seasonal flu.

According to the CDC, the following should be considered for treatment with Tamiflu if they test flu positive in the office:

- Children less than 2 years old
- Adults over 64
- Pregnant women
- People with chronic or high risk medical conditions
- Children 2 to 4 years old if they have a high risk condition or are severely ill
- Anyone else the physician thinks is really sick and would benefit from treatment.

The recommendations are the same to treat family members of patients that have the flu.

This means that your otherwise healthy 7-year-old child may not require treatment if he is looking good and has a temperature less than 102.

Two questions that many of our parents have are:

Should I keep my child out of school if a classmate has H1N1? What precautions can my child take?

There is no need to keep your child home from school if he has no symptoms of the flu. Encourage good hand washing. Keep your hands away from your face and mouth. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Remember to cough into your arm or a tissue and then wash your hands.

If your child does develop symptoms of the flu, they should stay home. Anyone with these symptoms should not be at school, daycare, work or participating in group activities Call your doctor if your child has fever, cough, sore throat and body aches. Your child should remain out of school or daycare until he or she has been fever free for 24 hours without needing Tylenol or Motrin.


Laura said...

Who needs to watch the news? TSP has all the updates I need!!!!

smilinggreenmom said...

I am glad to read more stuff on kids and the flu. I just have not decided yet what we will do about the H1N1 vaccine. It scares me to give them the vaccine and it scares me not to. Ug. One thing we are making sure we do is taking our daily probiotic from Vidazorb chewables. They have really helped our family and now we are just trying to really boost our immunities. I have also been reading that even though it is good to use hand sanitizers (which we do) that they can also kill the good bugs. Another good reason to replace them with a probiotic. Thanks for the info here!

Anonymous said...

Smilinggreen: f you are worried about the preservative for any reason, you can ask your pediatrician whether they have preservative free shots. Some pediatricians will carry them for seasonal flu, and I would assume for H1N1, too.

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