Flu and Seasonal Flu
Below are some highlights of the H1N1 Influenza and
Seasonal Flu Vaccine:
- It is important to remember that Seasonal Influenza does not peak until mid to late winter. Our goal is to provide Seasonal Flu Vaccine to ALL of our patients ages 6 months and up before the regular Flu Season hits.
- We are now scheduling “flu vaccine only” Nurse appointments.
- The major drug store chains and grocery stores are able to offer mass quantities of flu vaccine because they order millions of doses directly from the vaccine manufacturer. But the vaccine that they offer likely comes from multi-dose vials that contain thimerosal.
H1N1/Swine Flu Vaccine: The H1N1 Flu vaccine that is being produced by pharmaceutical companies is actually owned by the U.S. government and decisions around distribution and administration of this vaccine will be made entirely the U.S. government. Pediatric practices cannot place orders for the H1N1 Flu vaccine. The best source of information regarding the H1N1 Flu vaccine is the CDC website, http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/.
-There is NO evidence that the Seasonal Flu vaccine protects against H1N1 Flu.
The CDC has provided guidelines for treating patients with the flu.
- Flu-like symptoms include sudden onset of fever, headache, fatigue, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose and muscle aches.
- The symptoms are very similar for both Seasonal Flu and H1N1 Flu.
- H1N1 Flu is in the Flu A category. It is not necessarily worse than Seasonal Flu, it’s just a new form of the flu virus that we are still learning about.
- If your child is normally healthy with no chronic health conditions, generally it is best to treat flu-like symptoms at home with fever-reducing medicine, plenty of fluids and rest. This is true if it’s Seasonal Flu OR H1N1 Flu. Healthy patients with uncomplicated illness need not be treated with anti-viral medications (e.g. Tamiflu™) and such treatment is not recommended by the CDC or the World Health Organization (WHO).
- The CDC and the Health Departments do NOT recommend giving anti-viral medications to treat either type of flu in otherwise healthy children and adults. This helps prevent the virus from becoming resistant to anti-viral medications.
- It is Sonlight Pediatrics and Family Medicine's office policy to follow CDC guidelines for administering anti-viral medications. For otherwise healthy children (i.e., children without chronic medical conditions), the CDC does not recommend trying to prevent the flu by taking anti-viral medications after exposure.
- It is also Sonlight Pediatrics and Family Medicine's office policy to see patients at an appointment before prescribing anti-viral medications for flu-like symptoms.
- If you are sick with flu-like symptoms, the CDC recommends that you stay home from school or work until you have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever- reducing medications.
* See the links below for more information on H1N1 and Seasonal Flu and how to treat these viruses.