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Home I Think My Child Has Flu Swine flu facts and children's flu

Swine flu facts and children's flu

Headlines about the swine flu pandemic and school closings create spicy news pieces, but for a parent whose child begins to show signs of the flu, the thoughts of swine flu become frightening. How can they tell swine flu facts from fiction? Is it possible to tell if their child has the swine flu or just a seasonal cold? Who should be told and is it contagious?

In May of 2009, several schools closed in the United States due to incidences of swine flu among the student body, but for the 2009 – 2010 school year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) amended their prior recommendations to keep schools open and the ill children home, unless a large percentage of the student population was affected. The swine flu facts showed that the virus remained just as potent as before, but the school closures caused too many after effects. The virus did not become less contagious over the summer of 2009, but the CDC realized that the swine flu would be better controlled if the sick students only stayed at home.

Parents should continue to remain vigilant for symptoms of flu such as headache, cough, stuffy or runny nose, chills, high fever, and extreme fatigue. The signs of swine flu and regular flu are the same, and the only way to determine the difference is with a blood test administered by the child's doctor. As soon as flu symptoms are spotted in a child or adult, a trip to the doctor is in order. A physician can prescribe an antiviral flu fighting medication to shorten the duration of the flu. He will also draw blood to determine if the child's symptoms are caused by the seasonal flu or swine flu. Should the test results show that it not seasonal flu, a set of swine flu facts will be offered to the parent to dispel any fears they might have. The child's school and the CDC will also be notified to add to the tally of those with swine flu.

Swine flu facts and fiction should not cause parents to fear. The swine flu is no more dangerous than the seasonal flu. Both can be effectively treated with antiviral drugs from a doctor if given them within the first two days of becoming sick. Should a child have the flu, whether seasonal or swine, the home treatment is the same (pdf link). Hand washing, using tissues, and avoiding those with the flu will prevent spreading of the disease in the home. Any one with the flu will remain contagious for up to seven days after getting sick. Even if a child diagnosed with the flu feels better after two days of taking antiviral medicines, the parent should keep the child at home until the doctor allows the child back to school.

Knowing the swine flu facts can allay the fears parents have when their child begins to show symptoms of the flu. The most important thing for parent to do is to take their child to the doctor  to get the proper treatment as soon as possible and to prevent the further spread of the flu virus, whether seasonal or swine.

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