What's Going Around for 10/21: An uptick in 'flu-like illnesses'
About 70 percent of calls in the past week were from parents whose kids have flu-like symptoms: sore throat, fever, aches, and upper respiratory problems. And most of their 11 doctors and six certified nurse practitioners said the majority of the sick patients they have seen in the past week have had flu-like illnesses.
The severity of illness varies greatly, and a couple of patients have been hospitalized.
The rest have been treated at home.
Although they are not testing sick patients to see if they actually have the flu, per the Centers for Disease Control's guidelines, Briggson said the speculation is that it's swine flu, because October is not the usual flu season.
If it is H1N1 novel influenza, it is very contagious, Briggson said, because a lot of people aren't immune to it. On the bright side, statistics show that if one family member gets it, there is only an 18 percent chance of another family member catching it.
Briggson gives the following health tips for avoiding the flu:
- Wash hands frequently.
- Anyone ill with flu-like symptoms should stay home, and should be fever-free for 24 hours before going back to school, work or to any social function.
- Stay hydrated and get plenty of sleep.
On the flu vaccine front, Briggson said she expects CHA to receive all of its shipments of seasonal as well as novel H1N1 flu vaccine by the end of October.
Your turn: What illnesses are going around in your kid's world?
"What's Going Around" is a weekly series looking at what illnesses are circulating among kids in the community. Jen Eyer is on the Community Team at AnnArbor.com. She can be reached at 734-623-2577 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can visit her at 301 East Liberty.