Thursday, September 17, 2009

The it's-not-swine-flu Flu

The tween started coughing yesterday, developed a temp last night, and awakened during the night with chills and a 102 fever. We've been down this road before, just two weeks ago, when the teen was diagnosed with "Type A" flu and given Tamiflu because he has Crohn's Disease.

Thanks to the tremendous number of kids with the flu, no one is sending on the testing swabs to the CDC for a formal diagnosis of H1N1. As a matter of fact, our high school principal even told parents that, until he's given an actual diagnosis, he can't follow any special protocol for the high number of absences in the school. "Keep washing your hands and stay home if you have a fever" is the prevailing tactic.

Since Georgia starts school way before most of the country, we became a crucible of sorts for the potential rapid spread of H1N1 through the schoolhouse population.

Yep. It spread.

As one parent/pediatrician said to me a few weeks ago, the flu she's treating is most definitely H1N1 because it's too early in the season for such a widespread outbreak of "normal" flu. The CDC has said the same thing in several comments to the media. They can't keep up with the testing required for a documented diagnosis, so they call outbreaks in colleges, schools, communities "suspected" H1N1.

Our neighborhood children attended a pool party last week and promptly succumbed left and right to the flu. Symptoms developed nearly overnight, and many parents were sick, too.

I've heard of parents having "swine flu parties," rather like those misinformed parents who have "chicken pox parties" to expose their children deliberately to a supposedly mild illness. They don't think about complications (not my child!) or lifelong repercussions such as shingles.

Time to take the tween's temperature again and make sure it stays below that dreaded 103 degree mark.

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