Thursday, September 17, 2009

H1N1 - and all flu - require vigilance

Have to adress this comment that came in as a response to my swine flu post from July:

No offense, but it seems very unwise to say H1N1 is no big deal and then make an offhand remark at the end of your post that your child was on an anti-viral medication. And it's possible that the negative flu test was indeed accurate, and it was not the flu. This response is written in September after the resurgence of the flu and I believe it is has to be taken seriously. According to the CDC, 30% of the children who have died from H1N1 had no pre-exisiting health condition. It has been proven that young people and children with asthma are at particular risk. This flu has the ability to penetrate deep into the lungs and replicate there, unlike the "regular" seasonal flu. This was suspected at first (shown in animal testing) and confirmed by testing done at the CDC. This explains why it is causing pneumonia in some people who wouldn't normally get it form the flu. For most people it WILL be a relatively mild illness but no one yet truly understands this new virus - all parents of children with asthma should remain educated and vigilant.

Defensively, I have to make to comments (and yes, I know it's stupid for me to get defensive):

First: Do you remember they hype around H1N1 in June and July? At that point, the virus was affecting far fewer people than a typical seasonal flu outbreak - and with far fewer serious and fatal cases - yet the media was treating it like we were amidst an outbreak of bubonic plague.

If I seemed to have been taking things lightly, it's only because it was only because the flu we had was shockingly mild.

Secondly, my kids were WELL into the their flu by the time they started antivirals. I would say they were already "over the hump."

That said, we NEVER take the flu lightly, and I apologize if I seemed offensively flippant. We've had enough chest X-rays, Prednisone, round-the-clock nebs and hospitalizations to last a LIFETIME, believe me!

We will vaccinate (thimerosal-free, cause I'm weird like that) when possible, and we'll see the doctor at the first sign of anything. We'll keep our hand-washing up, and, like any responsible mother, I will keep my kids home if they seem sick. I hope you'll do the same.

I actually haven't been keeping up with the state of the flu so well... If you have updates on stats and symptoms, please share.

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