This week I saw my first cases of influenza in the office. Poor kids, they were really feeling lousy. Of the four kids I saw this week with test proven influenza, one had had the flu vaccine. Just to recap, influenza is a virus that gives high fever, runny nose, cough and severe illness….influenza does not cause the stomach flu (which is also running rampant these days).
Since one of the kids had the vaccine, I went to the CDC site to look at the data across the country and also to the Michigan Department of Community Health site to get more info. I have good news and bad news. The good news is that the strains through November that the CDC had available to test were vaccine preventable strains for the most part. The bad news is that we have no data more recent than that to guide us and I did have a child who was vaccinated sick as a dog! I will keep monitoring and let you know.
In the meantime, wash your hands like crazy! Bring in your feverish kids if they are still having temps for three or more days or if they are acting very sick or coughing to the point of vomiting.
High fever, really bad cough, and acting really sick means influenza and each day won’t be your best until you are over it!
Molly O’Shea, MD Birmingham Pediatrics + Wellness Center