Friday, October 30, 2009
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CDC offers guidelines for parents of children with flu-like symptoms

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[October 30, 2009]  Many people are concerned about the novel H1N1 flu virus. CDC has determined that this new H1N1 virus is contagious and is spreading from person to person, probably like seasonal flu.

The symptoms of this new H1N1 flu virus in people are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. A significant number of people also have reported diarrhea and vomiting.

Most people who have been sick with this virus in the U.S. have recovered at home without treatment. If your child has flu-like symptoms, please keep him or her at home for seven days or for 24 hours after symptoms resolve, unless given other instructions by your pediatrician or their staff.

Like seasonal flu, complications can occur with novel H1N1 flu. Seek emergency medical care if your child becomes ill and experiences any of the following warning signs:

  • Fast breathing.

  • Trouble breathing.

  • Bluish or gray skin color.

  • Not drinking enough fluids.

  • Not urinating as much as usual.

  • Severe or persistent vomiting.

  • Not waking up or interacting as usual.

  • Being so irritable that your child does not even want to be held.

  • Fever returns after being absent for a day, or a significant change in fever pattern occurs. For example, it was 101 degrees Fahrenheit for several days and now it's 103 degrees.

Again, seek emergency medical care if your child becomes ill and experiences any of those warning signs.

It's important that your child not be exposed to other children who are sick and that if your child has a flu-like illness, that he or she does not expose other people, in order to keep from spreading illness.

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There are some things you can do to keep you and your child healthy:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands. Put your used tissue in the wastebasket.

  • Wash hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. If soap and water aren't available, use an alcohol-based hand cleaner.

  • Avoid close contact with sick people.

  • If you or your child gets sick with a flu-like illness, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.

If you'd like more information on novel H1N1 flu, visit

[Information from CDC]

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