Monday, February 25, 2008

The Flu

Both of my kids have influenza. We did the nasal swab today at the pediatrician's office. Our pediatrician recommended putting them on Tamiflu. It tastes really, really awful and has been hard to get them to swallow, but I am hopeful it will help. The girl in this picture doesn't begin to show the impact the taste has on kids. Our pediatrician said she diagnosed around 15 cases of the flu just today.

My boys have 103 degree temperatures. I thought I would mention this because our doctor said Tamiflu works best if it is started within 48 hours of the onset of the child's fever. I normally don't run the kids to the doctor the first day of an illness because I figure an ear infection usually take a few days. Going to the doctor for a virus is usually pointless because there isn't a whole lot anyone can do. I'm glad I didn't wait this time.

I hope your families stay healthy!

-NewsAnchorMom Jen


Diane Vespa said...

Ugh. I feel for ya. The daughter started it and spread it to me, who spread it to the son. So far, only Dad has escaped its wrath! It lasts a good week. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Mark got the flu, and he was afraid that it had turned to viral meningitis again! It's awful! We were all given Tamiflu as a prophylaxis, and so far so good. I know that the media has called it an epedimic at this point, and they don't know when it will peak. Hopefully we don't get it again, that would be miserable. Let's just hope it doesn't have time to mutate yet again. Hope you are all well soon.

Camilla said...

I am so glad Mark didn't get meningitis again. What a mess! I hope the kids don't get it! My oldest son starting coughing really bad today. I am not sure if he got the Tamiflu in time.
When the flu shot has three of the wrong strains in it, it doesn't do a whole of good. However, some doctors say it still helps a little.

Knight in Dragonland said...

Tamiflu can be useful ... if you have good health insurance. Most folks with the medical card - which doesn't cover Tamiflu - can't afford to fork over the $80 to $100 for the prescription.

It's also hard to justify that expense when the medication, on average, reduces symptoms by 24 hours for an illness that typically lasts 4-5 days.

I've seen dozens of cases of influenza, but I've only written one Tamiflu prescription this season. Either the families can't afford it, or they show up after the 48 hour period.

Knight in Dragonland said...

Let me also correct an error ... the influenza vaccine does not have three wrong strains.

The flu vaccines contain antigens for three strains of flu - two A strains (H1N1 & H3N2) and one B strain. Based on CDC monitoring of influenza activity - 88% of H1 strains, 17% of H3 strains and 6% of B strains match the 2007-2008 vaccine strains. The H1 strain - which is a good match at 88% - has accounted for half of influenza isolates characterized this season. However, data from the last few weeks indicate that the H3 A strain and influenza B are now accounting for the majority of cases ... likely due to the fact that the H1 strain is well covered by the vaccine.

Even in mismatch situations, the influenza vaccine clearly still provides some level of protection. You may still become ill, but your symptoms will likely be less severe and you're less likely to end up in the hospital. There is also a cumulative benefit of getting vaccinated annually.

The live-attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) may provide an even greater level of protection against mismatch than the injectable TIV vaccine ... at least in children.

Of the dozens of influenza cases I've seen in the past two weeks, only two were vaccinated, and they had only received one of the recommended two doses for children who have never had the flu vaccine before. said...

Tamiflu was pricey! I was glad our insurance picked up a good part of it, otherwise it would not have been an option. The baby did start playing within 24 hours of taking it. Maybe he would have felt better anyway, but it seemed to work for us. Who knows!

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