It's that time again. The influenza viruses (both A and B strains) are making their cross country tour. Unlike last year's really strange H1N1, this year is shaping up to be a pretty typical flu season. The southern states and atlantic states are in full flu swing with Alabama and Louisiana having the highest number of cases this week. Northerners have been spared of major flu activity thus far...but it's coming, folks!
I've seen a ton of kids with flu this week. Most of it is Influenza A, and of that, the CDC tells us it is primarily H3N2 strain (not H1N1) this year. Fewer kids are testing positive for Influenza B. This year, it doesn't make too much difference whether it is A or B strains since both are treatable with antiviral medications (Tamiflu or Relenza). But, the medications are most effective if treatment is started within the first 48 hours of symptoms.
Bottom line: If your child has a fever of 102 or above, bodyaches, chills, headache, and looks like a wet noodle...get a doctor's appointment sooner rather than later. The runny nose, cough, and sore throat show up later on in the illness.
Check out the CDC's flu surveillance for more info.