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Posted on Wed, Oct 21, 2009 : 10:10 a.m.

What's Going Around for 10/21: An uptick in 'flu-like illnesses'

By Jen Eyer


The latest weekly map showing flu activity across the country.

Centers for Disease Control

What's going around this week is the flu, and lots of it, says Jan Briggson, practice manager for Child Health Associates in Ann Arbor.

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 She can be reached at 734-623-2577 or, or you can visit her at 301 East Liberty.



Wed, Oct 21, 2009 : 8:11 p.m.

I live in Virginia and my 16 year-old daugher has this... fever, fatigue, no appetite, and it's on day 7 now. And my son, north campus, has had this thing also... but with a cough, low-grade fever, and fatigue. Seems to be over now at day 8. Then my other son... at Ohio State... (not kidding)... is on day 9 now with the same symptoms. Fatigue seems to be the most common symptom with the three of them and it is much more overpowering than the flu that we all have experience with. What this is, we do not know. It seems very contagous but my wife and I are OK. Go Blue! Go Buck.

Jessica Webster

Wed, Oct 21, 2009 : 2:45 p.m.

Yep, sounds exactly like what my son went through. Fever nearly every day, but never higher than like 102 degrees. We kept thinking he was getting better and then he'd suddenly be curled up in a fetal position again with a fever. It took 7 days and he's finally back to school. Hope you're feeling better soon, Hans.


Wed, Oct 21, 2009 : 1:49 p.m.

@Hans I feel the same way. Whatever it is hit me hard early, but since then I've alternated between feeling totally fine and feeling absolutely horrible.


Wed, Oct 21, 2009 : 1:01 p.m.

It seems to happen every year: A big awareness campaign about the flu and to get your vaccine. This year, like others, local health care practitioners have run out of vaccine. No one knows when more is coming. Especially for children's vaccines. We're told to get the vaccine only to find there is none to be had!

Hans Masing

Wed, Oct 21, 2009 : 12:41 p.m.

I've been down with whatever this thing is for about 6 days now. It's no fun - and it's unlike any other flu I've ever had. Very mild - right up until I try to actually DO anything, at which point it hits me hard for about 3 hours then backs off. Is the H1N1 conscious? Perhaps it is part of a larger spore creature with a collective mind that is striving to keep me down. *sigh*